Wired In

Time to Hit the Reset Button on Utility Distribution Company Ratemaking

By Cynthia A. Arcate 24 April, 2017
For years, many have been lamenting the ever-increasing number of rate mechanisms which fall outside of the base rate review process for utility distribution companies. There are roughly a dozen reconciliation charges, trackers and automatic adjustment charges on the bill for each gas and electric utility. Call them what you will, they all do the same thing: allow utilities to recover 100 percent of certain costs of providing service separate from their total cost of service. This is a problem

Eversource $20 Million Energy Efficiency Filing: Too Much for Too Little

By Cynthia A. Arcate 1 March, 2017
Last fall, in the midst of the multitude of year-end utility filings, Eversource filed a request with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities for a $20 million surcharge, on top of its energy efficiency charge, to fund its dabbling in demand reduction demonstration projects. I say “dabbling” because the filing is little more than a hodgepodge of exploratory ideas to be implemented over less than 18 months to gather information to inform its next three-year energy efficiency plan. The filing

Massachusetts Emissions Plan Sure to Backfire

By Cynthia A. Arcate 15 February, 2017
This week The Boston Globe reported on an emissions reduction plan issued by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which would cap the emissions from in-state power plants in order to comply with a Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) decision finding that the state was not on track to comply with the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). The Globe accurately reports that by capping emissions from in-state power plants, there is a risk that the plan will actually increase emissions

Inspector General Issues Advisory on Energy Brokers, Warns of Excessive Costs, Long-term Contracts and Lack of Experience

By Liam Sullivan 4 January, 2017
The Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General (IG) issued the “Advisory for Municipalities and Other Public Awarding Authorities Using Energy Broker Services” on October 20, 2016. The result of a two-year review, it offers guidance and best practices in selecting and managing energy professionals. Although written primarily for cities, towns and housing authorities, the recommendations are applicable to a broad range of nonprofit and public entities. Most critical to the IG was the need for public entities to conduct a
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