Division of Regional & Federal Affairs Responsibilities
Established by Chairman Hibbard in 2007, the Division of Regional and Federal Affairs ("DRFA") mission is to improve the Department's understanding of and participation in activities and decisions taking place at the regional and federal levels that directly affect wholesale natural gas and electricity costs for the Commonwealth's residents and businesses.
Wholesale electricity and transmission costs constitute roughly two-thirds of the retail price of electricity, and commodity prices for natural gas similarly constitute the majority of prices paid by natural gas customers in Massachusetts. Accordingly, DRFA strives to protect the interests of Massachusetts consumers by collecting, synthesizing, and evaluating the technical and legal factors driving wholesale energy costs in Massachusetts, and to influence changes in underlying federal policy, market rules, and regional energy infrastructure planning and operations.
DRFA is also responsible for coordination with other energy and environmental agencies within and outside Massachusetts, and for entering into joint efforts with such agencies to influence regional and federal developments as circumstances dictate.
DRFA monitors ISO New England Inc. ("ISO-NE") planning and operations, and participates in ISO-NE's stakeholder processes including overseeing market performance through interaction with ISO-NE's Market Monitor; monitoring and participating in various stakeholder committees, including the New England Power Pool Participants' Committee and participating in the transmission planning process through the Planning Advisory Committee. DRFA also participates in national and regional policy groups including the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners ("NARUC"), the New England Conference of Public Utilities Commissioners ("NECPUC"), the New England States' Committee on Electricity ("NESCOE") and the Power Planning Committee of the New England Governor's Conference ("NEGC PPC") and the Northeast International Committee on Electricity ("NICE").
DRFA also monitors and, where appropriate, participates in proceedings before federal agencies, notably the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC").