Mark LeBel

Staff attorney, Acadia Center

Stories by Mark LeBel

Utility rate design needs reform

Utility rate design needs reform

Legislature should overrule DPU-approved measures

Final in a series. The first installment focused on grid modernization in Massachusetts and the second on DPU’s decision on revenue for Eversource. ON JANUARY 5, 2018, the Department of Public Utilities approved two significant changes to rate design proposed by Eversource: (1) a new set of complex and unmanageable rates for new solar customers(...)

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Time to part ways with traditional utility business model

Time to part ways with traditional utility business model

Recent DPU decision double-downed on the old approach

Second in a three-part series. The first part, on grid modernization in Massachusetts, can be found here. IN JANUARY 2017, Eversource filed its first complete rate case in many years, including proposals for higher annual revenues, a new utility revenue model, significant changes to rate design, and $400 million in future investments. On November 30,(...)

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Mass. dragging its feet on grid modernization

Mass. dragging its feet on grid modernization

Compensation model for utilities needs to change

First in a three-part series IN RECENT YEARS, states across the country have been exploring how to keep pace with clean energy technologies that offer enormous promise to make the electricity grid more responsive to consumers, improve economic competitiveness, and produce substantial reductions in climate pollution. Since 2014, the Reforming the Energy Vision process in(...)

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What Massachusetts can learn from New York’s solar experience

What Massachusetts can learn from New York’s solar experience

Utility profit incentive in MA not fully aligned with public interest

Over the past several years, Massachusetts has been able to deploy more than 1000 megawatts of solar capacity. This remarkable success is due to an interrelated set of policies that made solar an attractive investment for customers and a viable business opportunity for developers to invest and hire in the Commonwealth. These policies are now(...)

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Technology upends the utility business model

Technology upends the utility business model

Utilities view solar the way taxis view Uber

Second in a three-part series. The first part, on natural gas pipelines, can be found here. IN THE SHARING ECONOMY, new consumer technologies and business models are upending industries from transportation to accommodation, opening up markets previously dominated by established players. Similar forces are sweeping over the energy sector. A homeowner who feeds surplus electricity(...)

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