For Immediate Release - June 30, 2015

AG Healey Pushes for Increased Transparency in Energy Transmission Rates

AG Healey, Rhode Island Attorney General and Energy Advocates Send Letter to ISO-New England and New England Transmission Owners Arguing for a Public Process For Proposed Rate Increases

BOSTON – Continuing her promise to be the 21st Century Ratepayer Advocate for Massachusetts, Attorney General Maura Healey is leading an effort for increased transparency in setting energy transmission rates.

AG Healey today along with Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and consumer and energy advocates from several other New England states sent a letter pdf format of AG Letter to ISO NE on improving transparency
file size 1MB to ISO-New England and  New England electric transmission owners urging the companies to develop a transparent process that allows all stakeholders the opportunity to review, question and challenge proposed transmission rates.

“A revised protocol should also allow 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,” said AG Healey in the letter.

AG Healey said in the letter pdf format of AG Letter to ISO NE on improving transparency
file size 1MB that transmission owners should also provide the calculations used to develop their proposed rates to state regulatory commissions, attorneys general and consumer advocacy agencies. The AG also asked that electric transmission owners make available all inputs to transmission rate formula calculations and that they make an affirmative showing that such costs are properly included. 

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.

Last week, the AG’s Office presented evidence before a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Administrative Law judge arguing that 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. 

Healey’s letter was joined by representatives from Kilmartin’s office, PowerOptions, the State of New Hampshire Consumer Advocate, Freedom Energy Logistics, Connecticut Consumer Counsel, the State of Maine Public Advocate Office, the Vermont Department of Public Service and the Industrial Energy Consumer Group.

AG Healey’s office is ramping up efforts to ensure that any transmission rates are fair, reasonable and transparent. Energy customers pay for a return on investment, depreciation, operation and maintenance of high voltage transmission lines that move electricity over state lines. Electric transmission can play a big factor in a customer’s bill.