Advocating for Cape and Vineyard Residents...
On January 14, 2022, Eversource filed a rate case with the Department of Public Utilities (DPU). The Cape Light Compact Governing Board discussed this proceeding and had concerns regarding Eversource's proposal. The Board voted to petition the DPU to intervene in this proceeding, which was approved.
This is NSTAR Electric’s second fully litigated rate case since the 1980’s (the first was filed in 2017). This rate case will determine the charges Eversource is allowed to impose on the distribution side of the electric bill, and will affect all residents and businesses on Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard. The Compact is working on your behalf to assess the impact that this proposal will have on Cape and Vineyard ratepayers.
Compact Governing Board members, staff, and consultants are monitoring the progress of the proceeding. Below are key points that the Compact is focusing on thus far:
- Rate Design: The Compact and its consultants have identified two issues related to rate design in Eversource’s proposal. The Compact submitted testimony related to these issues.
- Eversource did not follow DPU precedent in calculating its target revenue allocation. The method used by Eversource results in a cost shift for non-residential customer classes from the Boston area to all other regions.
- The Compact and its consultants identified corrections and other issues in Eversource’s cost-of-service study (which is used to determine the revenue allocation and associated rates). Eversource made some of the corrections during the proceeding. These issues related to the way that infrastructure costs are split between primary (commercial and industrial) and secondary (residential) customers.
- Bill Impacts: Eversource proposed increasing the fixed customer charge for Rate R-1 Residential customers from $7 to $10. This could increase bills for low-usage customers and also reduce the incentive for energy efficiency or behind-the-meter generation because the charge is fixed and non-by passable. The Compact submitted testimony on this issue. The Compact has proposed that the increased customer charge should be phased in gradually over three years.
- Performance-Based Ratemaking (“PBR”) Policy Considerations: Eversource proposed a ten-year PBR term, which would also mean that Eversource would not have another full base rate case before the DPU for ten years. Eversource’s current PBR term is five years. Extending the term is of concern because rate cases provide some accountability and transparency of electric utilities and because of the likelihood of significant, material changes to the electric industry over the next ten years (electrification, distributed generation, etc.). The Compact has registered its concerns in is briefs submitted to the DPU.
- Energy Efficiency Tariff: Proposed changes to the Energy Efficiency Tariff would result in higher bills for low income customers.
To view all of the filings within this docket, please go to the DPU File Room website and type in 22-22.
There are many filings within this docket, so the Compact has provided links to some of the documents below that provide a high-level overview of what Eversource is proposing and what typical bill impacts will be for Cape and Vineyard ratepayers:
Cape Light Compact issued eight sets of Information Requests to Eversource (these can be found in the DPU file room).
On April 29, 2022, Cape Light Compact and its expert witnesses filed Direct Testimony
On June 24, 2022, Cape Light Compact and its expert witnesses filed Surrebuttal Testimony
On July 26, 2022, Cape Light Compact and its expert witness filed Supplemental Testimony