Rates Not ‘Transparent’ Enough, Say New England Attorneys General

by | Jul 8, 2015

Attorneys General from Massachusetts and Rhode Island sent a joint letter to ISO-New England and New England electric transmission owners on June 30, urging the companies to “improve the transparency of calculations and inputs” so that all stakeholders can more easily review, question and challenge proposed transmission rates.

“We propose that stakeholders revise this protocol to allow interested parties to fully and meaningfully participate in the formula rate information exchange and review process …. A revised protocol should [offer] parties a meaningful opportunity to question the transmission owners and ISO New England regarding the proposed formula rates and provide a well-defined process to challenge implementation of proposed [Regional Network Service] and [Local Network Service] rates,” the letter said.

ISO-New England is an independent, non-profit Regional Transmission Organization serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

New England customers pay nearly $2 billion per year through the Regional Network Service rate alone, with Massachusetts customers paying approximately 46 percent, Healy’s office said.

AG Healey said that, “Last week, [my office] presented evidence before a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) administrative law judge arguing that energy providers Eversource Energy, National Grid and their investors are earning too much in profits from power transmission lines and that they are making their excess returns on the backs of ratepayers.”

The June 30 letter was supported by representatives from Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin’s office; as well as by PowerOptions, a Boston-based group that helps nonprofits consolidate their energy buying influence; Freedom Energy Logistics, a Manchester, New Hampshire-based energy aggregator; the State of New Hampshire Consumer Advocate, the Connecticut Consumer Counsel, the State of Maine Public Advocate Office, the Vermont Department of Public Service, and the Industrial Energy Consumer Group.

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