The Department of Public Utilities regulates four investor owned electric companies which are:  (1) Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company, (2) National Grid, (3) NSTAR Electric, and (4) Western Massachusetts Electric Company. 

The Electric Power Division’s activities can be divided into five categories:

(1) Reliability of Electric Service - The Department monitors the electric distribution companies’ provision of safe and reliable electric service to their customers by  reviewing:  (a) annual reliability reports; (b) annual service quality reports; (c) quarterly significance outage reports; (d) annual emergency response plans; and (e) stray voltage and manhole event reports.

(2) Restructured Retail Electricity Industry - The Department licenses competitive suppliers and electricity brokers to ensure that the retail competitive electric market is implemented in a fair and efficient manner that brings benefits to electricity customers.  The Department also reviews and approves the Basic Service procurements of the electric distribution companies.

(3) Energy Efficiency - The Department reviews and approves ratepayer funded energy efficiency plans implemented by the Program Administrators to capture all cost effective energy efficiency in Massachusetts.  In 2010, the Program Administrators began to design and implement their plans for terms of three years.

(4) Renewable Energy Resources - The Department reviews:  (1) long-term contracts with renewable resources entered in by the electric distribution companies, and (2) proposals submitted by the electric distribution companies to construct and operate solar facilities.  The Department also oversees the net metering and interconnection processes of the electric distribution companies.

(5) Grid Modernization - The Department has approved “smart grid pilot programs” for the electric distribution companies, and is in the process of establishing policy guidelines for grid modernization, in order to (i) improve service quality, (ii) facilitate price responsive consumption, and (iii) facilitate the integration of distributed generation resources (particular renewable resources) and technologies.


This information is provided by the Department of Public Utilities