Acadia Center Summary and Review of Massachusetts Utilities’ Proposed Grid Modernization and Advanced Metering Infrastructure Plans
In May 2021, the DPU required each electric distribution company to submit an updated grid modernization plan, as well as a plan to achieve full-scale deployment of advanced metering infrastructure. On July 1, Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil submitted separate plans that included a ten-year grid modernization vision, a five-year strategic plan, and a four-year investment plan covering 2022-2025. If implemented successfully, these proposed plans will deliver significant benefits for customers and will enable critical energy system upgrades. However, Acadia Center is concerned that the proposed plans fall short in the following areas: 1) the plans contain minimal or no mention of environmental justice principles, 2) the timelines for implementing time-varying rates are far too slow and the use of an opt-in program versus opt-out means that customer participation will be greatly hindered, 3) the utilities’ plans for treatment of energy use data varies dramatically, and 4) there is a significant discrepancy in some of the costs and assumed benefits in both the grid modernization and AMI filings from Eversource and National Grid.