DPU reviewing report’s pipeline claims
Regulators seek information from gas distribution firms
THE MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC UTILITIES launched “a thorough review” of allegations in a recent report that Eversource Energy and Avangrid Inc. artificially constrained natural gas pipeline capacity in New England and drove up electricity prices by $3.6 billion over three years.
Angela O’Connor, the chair of the Department of Public Utilities, issued a statement saying “the review will seek information from gas distribution companies on how their procurement practices balance gas supply needs with delivering reliable service at the lowest costs possible for consumers.”
Information is being sought from Bay State Gas, Berkshire Gas, Fitchburg Gas and Electric, Boston Gas, Colonial Gas, Liberty Utilities, and NStar Gas Co.
Attorney General Maura Healey has also said her office is reviewing the report, which was written by four researchers from the Environmental Defense Fund, the University of California San Diego, the University of Wyoming, and Vanderbilt.
Eversource called the report a “complete fabrication.”In a recent commentary on the report, D. Maurice Kreis, the consumer advocate on utility issues in New Hampshire, wrote that Eversource’s “argument is not without some merit” but suggested more research is needed to uncover what happened and how regulators could address it.
Marcia Blomberg, a spokeswoman for ISO-New England, the region’s power grid operator, said the agency is not investigating the charges contained in the report. This is a matter for state and federal regulatory bodies to review,” she said in an email.