For Immediate Release - April 15, 2005

State Energy Officials & Regional Counterparts Prioritize Ratepayer Impact In FERC's Consideration Of Incentives For New Electric Generation

State Energy Officials & Regional Counterparts Prioritize Ratepayer Impact In FERC's Consideration Of Incentives For New Electric Generation

The Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy ("DTE") and the Division of Energy Resources ("DOER") were among six New England energy regulators to file joint comments today asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") to minimize impact to consumers in its consideration of incentives for additional electric generation in the region.

State utility regulators asked the FERC to consider more cost-effective solutions to encourage the construction of new power plants so that the region can continue to meet energy demands in relation to the growth of the Massachusetts economy. The comments offered today are in response to the FERC's directive to ISO-New England, the operator of the New England bulk power system, to establish a mechanism that factors in location or the ability to deliver electricity to customers in the setting of prices for wholesale electric generation.

Massachusetts Consumer Affairs Director Beth Lindstrom applauded the regional regulators' consensus saying, "Any proposed change in regional energy policy must place costs to consumers front and center in the deliberations. Now is not the time to burden Massachusetts consumers with additional costs without measurable corresponding benefits."

DTE Chairman Paul Afonso summed up the issue by stating, "The challenge before the FERC is to ensure that there are adequate quantities of electric generation supply to serve customers reliably while keeping costs as reasonable as possible. I am optimistic that a fair balance can be found to ensure that our electricity needs are met for years to come."

The DTE has been formulating its position on these matters over the course of numerous meetings with state utility commissions from the New England region and beyond, the FERC commissioners, ISO-New England, the Office of the Attorney General, the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, consumer groups, power plant operators and the Massachusetts electric distribution companies.