Eversource Rate Case

On January 17, 2017, Eversource filed a rate case with the Department of Public Utilities (DPU). Cape Light Compact Governing Board discussed this proceeding and had concerns regarding Eversource’s proposed rate case. The Board voted to petition the DPU to intervene in this proceeding, which was approved.

This is Eversource’s (formerly NSTAR Electric, and prior to that as the separate entities of Boston Edison Co., Cambridge Electric Co., and Commonwealth Electric Co.) first fully litigated rate case since the 1980’s. This rate case will determine the charges Eversource is allowed to impose on the distribution side of the electric bill, meaning that it this rate case is going to affect all residents and businesses on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. The Compact is working on your behalf to review the impact of what this proposal will have on Cape and Vineyard ratepayers.

On June 1, 2017, Eversource filed a revised rate design plan which contains a significant change from the initial filing.  This filing includes a $30 million cost shift from Western MA customers (and Eastern MA commercial customers) to Eastern MA residential customers.

Due to the significance of the change and other changes that were proposed, the DPU will be holding another public hearing (which was held on 8/2/17)and public comment period.

You may submit written or emailed comments to the DPU until 8/31/17. To submit via email, please send to dpu.efiling@state.ma.us and marc.tassone@state.ma.us.

View the Notice of Filing for instructions (highlighted in yellow) for submittal by mail. The Notice of Filing includes information about the nature of the changes which are reflected under NSTAR Electric Phase 1 and Phase 2 for Cape and Vineyard customers.

Important Points

Below are some of the points that the Compact will be focusing on, on behalf of Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard ratepayers. Compact Governing Board members, staff, counsel, and consultants are still reviewing the proceeding

  1. Shift in Cost – from 6/1/17 proposal filed by Eversource
    • Eversource is proposing to shift $30 million in costs annually from Western MA customers to Eastern MA residential customers. Costs incurred to provide service to Western MA customers should be borne by those customers and not Eastern MA customers.
    • This proposal also includes shifting costs from Eastern MA commercial customers to Eastern MA residential customers. Costs incurred to provide service to commercial customers should not be borne by residential customers.
  2. Customer Charge: Eversource is proposing to shift “fixed” distribution costs from the usage-variable volumetric (per kWh) energy charge to a fixed customer charge. This could increase bills for low-usage and seasonal customers. It also lessens the incentive for energy efficiency and behind-the-meter generation, which reduce the kilowatt hours a customer needs to purchase from the grid.  The Compact will be reviewing Eversource’s filing and determining how Cape and Vineyard customers will be impacted.
  3. Demand Charge: Eversource proposes to impose a demand charge for new net-metered customers interconnected on or after 1/1/2018 (for residential customers) and on or after 1/1/2019 (for commercial customers).  These customers will also be required to pay for the new demand meter.  The Compact is concerned about the adverse impacts this will have on new renewable energy projects (such as residential PV) and ratepayers, and will testify on this issue.
  4. Performance Based Recovery: Eversource is proposing moving to Performance-Based Rate Making (PBRM), a change from the current traditional cost-of-service ratemaking.  The Compact will examine whether the move to PBRM will result in higher electric rates and whether the proposed performance benchmarks are reasonable.
  5. Rate Consolidation: Eversource is proposing to consolidate rate classes, which will result in the termination of seasonal rates, among other changes. The Compact will examine the bill impacts for Cape and Vineyard customers.

Links

To view all of the filings within this docket, please go to the DPU File Room website and type in 17-05.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 508-375-6644 or email info@capelightcompact.org.

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