Grid modernization and AMI resources

Here you will find information on the DPU’s grid modernization‑related activities. This webpage has background information on these efforts and lists important Orders.


Table of Contents


In D.P.U. 12‑76, the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) established policies to encourage the regulated electric companies (Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil) to adopt grid modernization technologies and practices that:

  • enhance the reliability of electricity service,

  • reduce electricity costs, and

  • empower customers to adopt new electricity technologies and better manage their use of electricity.

In D.P.U. 15‑120 (National Grid), D.P.U. 15‑121 (Unitil), and D.P.U. 15‑122 (Eversource), the DPU approved, with certain modifications, the electric companies’ First Grid Modernization Plans. In these plans, the DPU preauthorized certain non-advanced metering infrastructure grid modernization investments for deployment in 2018 through 2021. D.P.U. 15‑120/D.P.U. 15‑121/D.P.U. 15‑122; D.P.U. 15‑120‑D/D.P.U. 15‑121‑D/D.P.U. 15‑122‑D; D.P.U. 20‑74.  Preauthorization means that the DPU will not revisit the prudence of the electric companies' decision to proceed with the investments.  The DPU will review the prudence of the electric companies' implementation of these investments.  Each electric company recovers costs for eligible investments through rate factors incorporated into its customers’ monthly bills.

In D.P.U. 20‑69, the DPU established the form and content for the electric companies’ Second Grid Modernization plan filings. The DPU also required each company to include proposals to achieve advanced metering functionality through a full‑scale deployment of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI).

In D.P.U. 21‑80 (Eversource), D.P.U. 21‑81 (National Grid), and D.P.U. 21‑82 (Unitil), the DPU approved, with certain modifications, each company’s Second Grid Modernization Plans and AMI implementation proposals. D.P.U. 21‑80‑A/D.P.U. 21‑81‑A/D.P.U. 21‑82‑A; D.P.U. 21‑80‑B/D.P.U. 21‑81‑B/D.P.U. 21‑82‑B.

First grid modernization plans

In 2018, the DPU approved, with certain modifications, the electric companies’ First Grid Modernization Plans for the 2018‑2020 term. The DPU later extended the plans through 2021. These plans established the following grid modernization objectives:

  • optimize system performance. Customers can reach this optimization through:
    • grid visibility,
    • command and control, and
    • self‑healing.
  • optimize system demand (by facilitating consumer price‑responsiveness), and

  • interconnect and integrate distributed energy resources.

The DPU also preauthorized the deployment of the non‑AMI grid modernization investments:

  • monitoring/control,
  • distribution automation,
  • volt/VAR optimization,
  • advanced distribution management system, and
  • advanced communications infrastructure.

These investments have company-specific budget caps.

In total, the DPU preauthorized the following grid modernization investments:

  • $189 million for Eversource,
  • $82 million for National Grid, and
  • $4.4 million for Unitil.

Second grid modernization plans and AMI implementation plans


In 2022, the DPU approved, with certain modifications, the electric companies’ Second Grid Modernization Plans and AMI implementation proposals. The DPU established:

  • budget caps for recovery of eligible investments, and

  • annual filing and reporting requirements.

The electric companies must file tariffs governing opt‑out terms and conditions for customers who choose to opt‑out of receiving an AMI meter.


The DPU approved these budgets for each electric company:

Company Investment Type Year Amount


Other grid modernization



$668 million

$206 million

National Grid


Other grid modernization



$487 million

$336 million



Other grid modernization



$14 million

$11 million


Investment types

The DPU preauthorized the following core AMI investments:

  • AMI meters
  • Communications
  • Head-end system and meter data management system
  • Customer information system
  • Cybersecurity
  • Project management

The DPU provided preliminary approval for certain supporting AMI investments:

  • Customer enablement
  • Analytics
  • System integration
  • Customer engagement
  • Contact center

The DPU preauthorized the following types of other grid modernization investments:

  • Advanced Distribution Management System
  • Communications
  • Monitoring and control
  • Volt-var optimization
  • Advanced distribution automation
  • IT/OT
  • Workforce management
  • Probabilistic power flow
  • Interconnection automation
  • DERMs (dynamic DER interface)
  • Evaluation and program management
  • DERMs demonstration
  • DER mitigation

AMI stakeholder working group

The electric companies convened an AMI Stakeholder Working Group in early 2023 to discuss various issues outlined by the DPU. The electric companies must file quarterly status reports that include:

  • a list of stakeholder meetings and attendees,

  • the status of any discussions with stakeholders and the process by which such discussions occurred, and

  • a summary of all issues on which the companies and stakeholders have reached consensus.

The electric companies filed their first status report on May 15, 2023. The final status report is due August 1, 2024.  The status reports are available below:

Electric sector modernization plans

On August 11, 2022, An Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind (2022 Clean Energy Act) was enacted. Chapter 179 of the Acts of 2022. The 2022 Clean Energy Act addresses the Commonwealth’s future grid modernization efforts. Among other things, Section 53 of the 2022 Clean Energy Act:

  • requires each electric company to develop electric sector modernization plans (ESMPs). These ESMPs should focus on upgrading the distribution and, where applicable, transmission system.

  • creates a grid modernization advisory council (GMAC).

  • requires each electric company to submit its first electric sector modernization plan to the GMAC by September 1, 2023. The electric companies must then submit ESMPs every 5 years.

  • requires each electric company to file its ESMP with the DPU for review. 

  • requires an ESMP to provide net benefits to customers. These ESMPs must also meet other DPU criteria.

On September 12, 2022, the DPU sent a letter to the electric companies.  In this letter, the DPU directed them to file their first ESMPs with the DPU by January 29, 2024.

Contact   for Grid modernization and AMI resources

Last updated: May 1, 2024

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