DPU cuts Eversource rate request

Friday, December 01, 2017

Recorder Staff

The state Department of Public Utilities reduced Eversource’s requested rate increase in western Massachusetts by about 30 percent as part of a rate case decision handed down after a 10-month investigation and 13 public hearings in which customers complained that the requested hikes were exorbitant and proposed changes would curtail solar projects.

The DPU cut Eversource’s base revenue request by $10.6 million, trimming the company’s requested $34.7 million increase by approximately 30 percent in a decision that marked the first change in base distribution rates for the company since 2010.

Responding to comments filed during the Eversource case, its rate design aspect was placed on a separate track to further consolidate rates in the company’s eastern and western territories. As a result, there will be estimated bill impacts on individual ratepayer classes, with an analysis due to be filed by the company within five business days. The approved rates will take effect on Jan. 1.

Under the decision, Eversource is precluded from filing another rate case until 2022.

The DPU, in announcing its decision late Thursday afternoon, said it “will lead to investments in clean energy technologies, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and improvements in infrastructure resiliency, service reliability and quality, and customer satisfaction.”

DPU chair said the decision “requires Eversource to pursue important investments in advanced technologies in an effort to strengthen the state’s clean energy economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

As part of its decision, the DPU approved $45 million in investments to accelerate development of electric vehicle infrastructure to support growth of electric vehicle use in Massachusetts and approved a “Performance Based Ratemaking mechanism” to encourage the company to “find cost-reducing efficiencies, improve resiliency and customer satisfaction, make investments in advanced clean energy technologies, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.