BOSTON — Friday afternoon, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) issued a decision in the National Grid electricity rate case, D.P.U. 15-155. In the decision, the DPU denied a number of utility proposals that would have reduced customer control of energy bills, discouraged investment in energy efficiency, arbitrarily penalized clean local energy production, and restricted access to community distributed generation. Further information on these proposals may be found here.
Peter Shattuck, Acadia Center’s Massachusetts Director, said, “We are encouraged that the DPU rejected National Grid’s rate design proposals that would have unfairly impacted residential ratepayers and set back our clean energy future. The DPU agreed with Acadia Center’s case that tiered customer charges would not be efficient or understandable and that the proposed access fees were not based on sound analysis. This decision also granted a significant overall revenue increase to National Grid, which emphasizes that we should be finding new ways to lower costs and avoid expensive new infrastructure investments.”
Acadia Center intervened in this proceeding, participated in discovery, filed expert testimony, and submitted briefs on a number of key electricity rate design issues.
Dr. Abigail Anthony, Acadia Center’s Director of Grid Modernization and Utility Reform and expert witness in this proceeding, said, “As a party in this docket, Acadia Center consistently advanced a long-term vision for regulatory reforms that promotes clean energy while addressing legitimate consumer concerns.”
A number of other states in the region, including Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and New York, are engaging in efforts to proactively identify the new regulatory processes and analyses needed to support a consumer-friendly, clean energy future. Acadia Center urges the Massachusetts DPU to take further steps to do the same.
Mark LeBel, Staff Attorney at Acadia Center, said, “Reforms to electricity rate design must strike a careful balance between economic efficiency, equity for all customers, protection of low-income ratepayers, and access to community distributed generation. Acadia Center is actively working on all of these issues and looks forward to working with other stakeholders to bring together broadly acceptable solutions.”
Acadia Center is a non-profit, research, and advocacy organization committed to advancing the clean energy future. Acadia Center is at the forefront of efforts to build clean, low-carbon, and consumer-friendly economies. Acadia Center provides accurate and reliable information and offers a real-world and comprehensive approach to problem solving through innovation and collaboration.