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Pages from Acadia Center Review of Eversource MA Rate Case Proposals - DPU 17-05 (002)

Eversource Rate Case in MA: Issues and Solutions

Within its rate case (D.P.U. 17-05), Eversource proposes significant revenue increases, new rate structures, and an array of investments. Based on preliminary review, several of Eversource’s key proposals appear inconsistent with reforms needed to advance a clean energy future, but others are likely beneficial. The proposals reviewed by Acadia Center can be grouped into three categories: (1) revenue and shareholder returns, (2) grid modernization investments, and (3) rate design. Download the full review of proposals or a two-page summary below.

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Incentives for Change: Why Utilities Continue to Build and How Regulators Can Motivate Them to Modernize

Outdated utility financial incentives are inhibiting the transition to a clean energy future, increasing consumer costs, and stifling new technologies. Yet, this state of affairs is hardwired into the regulatory system. In this handout, Acadia Center analysis demonstrates how this imbalance plays out in scenarios from around the Northeast. Easy-to-read infographics show what compels utilities to continue building traditional infrastructure and why incentives must be reformed to align utility, consumer, and environmental interests.

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Local Energy Investment and Infrastructure Modernization

In its proposal for local energy investment and infrastructure modernization, Acadia Center presents concepts for legislation to modernize Massachusetts' distribution system, promote local energy resources as alternatives to infrastructure, cap residential fixed charges, and improve incentives through time-of-use rates. Local Energy Investment and Infrastructure Modernization was proposed with support of a broad-based coalition as H. 1725 (Rep. Benson) -- S. 1875 (Sen. Pacheco): https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/S1875

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EnergyVision 2030 One-Page Preview

Advances in energy technology and declining clean energy costs offer an historic opportunity to build a truly clean, low carbon, and consumer friendly energy future that is also more reliable and resilient. These changes are profound—and a large disconnect exists between how we currently see and interact with the energy system and what a low-emission future could look like. Acadia Center is preparing EnergyVision 2030 to help fill this information and “vision” gap by presenting a detailed picture of what the energy system would look like in 2030 on a pathway to a clean energy future in 2050. This picture will show audiences in New England and New York a changed but recognizable system and help make today’s policy and infrastructure decisions with much better context and thus comfort.

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Sustainable Rate Design: Near-Term Consumer-Friendly Reforms for a Clean Energy Future

Electricity bills for residential customers in many states often combine a low fixed monthly charge with flat rates for electricity consumed and delivered charged on a per-kilowatt hour basis. Traditionally, this structure has worked for utilities by providing a simple mechanism to recover enough revenue to build, maintain, and operate the grid. This existing rate design for residential customers has many positive features, but is a blunt and inefficient instrument in many respects. Changes in electricity rate design can help address a number of different issues. In these comments, Acadia Center proposes a following five-point plan to achieve the above described objectives and principles for residential customers.

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Distribution Reliability Charge: Transitioning to Sustainable Rate Design

Electricity bills for residential customers in many states often combine a low fixed monthly charge with flat rates for electricity consumed and delivered charged on a per-kilowatt hour basis. Traditionally, this structure has worked for utilities by providing a simple mechanism to recover enough revenue to build, maintain, and operate the grid. This existing rate design for residential customers has many positive features, but is a blunt and inefficient instrument in many respects. Changes in electricity rate design can help address a number of different issues -- these comments address address two issues in particular and reforms that could facilitate a transition to more sustainable rate design.

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MA ZEV Coalition Letter to Chair of MA House Ways and Means Committee

This letter was sent to the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee by 21 diverse organizations. It calls on the committee to favorably report H.4282, An Act promoting electric vehicle adoption, out of the committee. The letter also recommends several amendments to the bill that would reflect language from the ZEV-related provisions that passed the Senate in S.2400, An Act to promote energy diversity, but were dropped during conference committee negotiations.

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Lessons from New England: Energy Efficiency Best Practices

The tables in this report present details on a range of practices in the New England states that can be used to inform efforts in other jurisdictions. The report was prepared for the New York Clean Energy Advisory Council.

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Letter to the Connecticut Governor’s Council on Climate Change

This letter was submitted by Acadia Center to the Governor's Council on Climate Change (GC3). With greenhouse gas emissions increasing since 2012, Connecticut must act quickly to meet its mandatory 2020 emissions cap. Acadia Center proposes three short-term mitigation strategies that Connecticut could pursue almost immediately to reverse the current emissions trend: electrification of building heating and vehicles, increased solar PV deployment, and expanded energy efficiency.

Post-Election Climate and Clean Energy Agenda
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