National Grid’s Massachusetts Electric Company and Nantucket Electric Company have filed a Comprehensive Performance and Investment (CPI) plan with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU), as part of its required Rate Review filing to deliver clean energy transition, reinforce the local energy grid and help achieve a stronger and more equitable energy future for the 1.3 million customers the company serves across the Commonwealth.
"The proposal we've filed today, coupled with our electric sector modernization plan, Future Grid, will deliver the fair, affordable and clean energy transition for all our customers and communities," said Nicola Medalova, the COO of Electricity for National Grid New England. "Fulfilling this mission requires a smarter, stronger, cleaner grid that can meet the rising power demand driven by electrification to support the Commonwealth's climate and clean energy goals, while ensuring the system is there when customers need it – no matter the weather."
Under the plan, the company is proposing a tiered discount rate program to provide larger discounts for income-eligible customers combined with a sustained outreach and awareness campaign. The company predicts discounts of up to 55% from the current 32%, depending on income and energy burden, for customers earning 60% of the state median income or less.
National Grid will deploy reclosers to automatically restore power to customers during system faults, expand an enhanced tree trimming program and install tree resistant wires to minimize system impacts from fallen limbs.
The company will also provide improved customer interfaces for transactions, including customer connections, and expand customer offerings and digital options.
It is proposing an opt-in electrification rate to support customer energy choices and the transition to cleaner energy. The company will upgrade its customer systems and establish dedicated teams for relevant information and communications to help customers manage bills, reduce costs and access energy efficiency and clean energy solutions.
National Grid will be responsible for enrolling eligible customers in discount rate programs, on-time and on budget delivery of construction projects, adoption of clean energy requirements and reducing greenhouse gas emissions with a proposed metrics.
The proposals will be effective from October 1, 2024, with new bills being issued starting November 1, 2024, if approved.
A typical residential customer using 600 kWh per month is expected to experience an annual average increase of 2.2% per year from 2024-2029, or $4.86 increase in a monthly bill, resulting in an increase of approximately $110 million in revenues per year over the same period if the plan is approved.
The increase for the first year of the rate term will come with a $7.86 (3.7%) impact in a monthly bill for an average customer, with further increases averaging 1.8% per year for the remaining four years of the rate plan term, translating into a 2.2% average annual impact over the five years.
Additionally, the company identified the costs associated with its Future Grid plan and requested the DPU to allow it to use the proposed cost recovery mechanism in the CPI plan to recover associated investments.
The average customer is anticipated to see an additional impact of less than 1% on their monthly bill, for a total of approximately 3% increase on an average annual basis and result in an additional $44 million-a-year in revenues over the five year period if the Future Grid plan is approved.