BOSTON, Oct. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On September 30, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities issued a decision on the National Grid general rate case, which will enable residents to continue to control their own energy use by using solar and other distributed technologies and will ensure that the state maintains its position as a national leader in clean tech and innovation, particularly in distributed generation and energy storage.
The Department rejected the utility's premise, that increased deployment of distributed generation (DG) shifts costs to non-DG customers and will eventually impose costs on the entire system. On the contrary, the Department found that DG provides net benefits to the system and to non-DG customers. It underscored that rates must be designed to promote energy efficiency and fairness, and reward customers who engage in energy-savings practices and investments. The Department found that National Grid failed to "substantiate its cost-shift assumption with reasonable analysis and quantitative record evidence . . . [;] "and was "not persuaded that a cost-shift from DG customers to non-DG customers, in fact, exists."
The Department's Order allowed National Grid, the largest utility in the state, to increase its revenues, but resoundingly rejected the utility company's efforts to disproportionately charge solar or energy storage customers more for the electricity they draw from the electric grid. National Grid's rate design proposals included tiered fixed charges on residential and small business DG customers, demand ratchets on medium and large DG customers, an access fee on "stand-alone" facilities (such as community solar), and elimination of the on-peak volumetric distribution charge for large businesses with DG.
"We applaud the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities for its thoughtful and farsighted vision of the state's energy future," said Jon Wellinghoff, Chief Policy Officer at EFCA member company SolarCity. "Such well-reasoned policymaking will ensure that all Massachusetts residents and businesses are able to benefit from distributed generation."
Energy Freedom Coalition of America is a national advocacy organization that seeks to promote public awareness of the benefits of solar and alternative energy through public advocacy.
SOURCE Energy Freedom Coalition of America