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State’s energy is most costly, study shows

With July tending to produce the highest monthly energy bills for consumers, and with the poorest of Americans (about 25 million households) spending at least 22 percent of their total take-home income on energy expenses, personal finance site WalletHub conducted a study analyzing the most and least-expensive states for purchasing energy.

It may come as no surprise, but Vermont’s energy consumption ranked as one of the most expensive in the nation — ranking number four across the board for most energy-expensive, falling below Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

For the report, 2016’s Most & Least Energy-Expensive States, analysts compared the average monthly energy bills in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia by using a formula that accounted for the following types of residential energy used: electricity, natural gas, motor fuel and home heating oil.

It found in Vermont that the average monthly energy bill was $332, and that the state ranked sixth-highest in the price of electricity, seventh-highest for the price of natural gas and the price of home heating fuel and third-highest in terms of the consumption per customer of home heating oil. The state’s motor fuel price ranked 21st in the U.S. For more on the study and methodology, visit wallethub.com/edu/.

Vt. Gas withdraws from threatened species-taking permit

The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources received a request from Vermont Gas Systems to withdraw its application for a Threatened and Endangered Species-Taking Permit to transplant and take state-threatened Harsh Sunflowers (Helianthus strumosus) in Monkton, the state said in a press release this week.

A public hearing scheduled for Thursday July 28 at 2:30 p.m. in the Agency of Transportation Board Room in the National Life Building in Montpelier was canceled as a result.