Central Vermont Public Service Corp. (CVPS) has reduced its earnings estimate from a range of $1.50 to $1.60 per share to a range of $1.28 to $1.38 per share for 2008. The revised estimates reflect the unanticipated service restoration efforts related to the ice storm that hit the New England region in mid December 2008. The company has reported that if extraordinary costs are deferred for future recovery, 2008 earnings can rise to a range of $1.45 to $1.55 per share.

The company is seeking advice from its regulators on its ability to defer a portion of the extraordinary costs under its Alternative Regulation plan.

The December ice storm did unprecedented damage to significant portions of our electrical system in rugged, rural sections of Southern Vermont, said CVPS president and chief executive officer Bob Young. The restoration effort will go down in history as the most expensive we’ve seen, even exceeding the so-called Nor’icane of 2007. Our rates include a five-year average of storm restoration costs, but given the magnitude of the ice storm, that average will not fully cover our current costs, hence the revised earnings estimate.

Young has reported that bills for the ice storm restoration continue to come in, but CVPS estimated costs at $5.3 million. By comparison, costs related to the 2007 Nor’icane totaled $4.3 million.