Attorney General Maura Healey today appealed the Department of Public Utilities\u2019 (DPU) ruling in the Eversource rate case, specifically the DPU\u2019s approval of a costly 10 percent shareholder return, one of the highest rates allowed by an electric distribution company regulator in the last five years.\n\nIn its Petition to Appeal filed today, the AG\u2019s Office alleges that the DPU violated the state Administrative Procedures Act and legal precedent by failing to adequately explain or support its order increasing Eversource\u2019s allowed shareholder profits \u2013 or rate of return on equity (ROE). \n\n\u201cThe DPU\u2019s order would increase costs for Massachusetts electricity customers by tens of millions of dollars,\u201d said AG Healey. \u201cWe are appealing because customers deserve to know why the DPU chose to enrich Eversource shareholders at the expense of electric ratepayers.\u201d\n\nThe DPU sets a utility company\u2019s ROE as one part of a company\u2019s costs in a rate case. Last month, the DPU set Eversource\u2019s ROE as part of its decision to increase electric rates for Eversource\u2019s 1.4 million customers by $220 million over the next five years, including a $37 million increase in the first year and additional annual increases of over 3.5 percent for the next four years. \n\nAG Healey and her office have challenged Eversource\u2019s proposed rate increase since the company announced it in early January. The company\u2019s original proposal included a request for a 10.5 percent ROE. The AG\u2019s Office, in its first legal brief filed on the case in July, urged the DPU to reject the request and to lower the ROE to 8.875 percent.\n\nIn December 2016, after the DPU allowed a 9.9 percent ROE as part of National Grid\u2019s $101 million rate hike, the AG wrote to the DPU urging it to open an investigation to consider, among other issues, how the Department could provide more information in its orders on its decision-making process for setting a utility\u2019s ROE. In the letter, the AG expressed concern about the upward trend in Massachusetts\u2019 allowed ROE and the lack of transparency when it sets a company\u2019s ROE.\n\nToday, the AG\u2019s Office also filed a motion for reconsideration, again urging the DPU to reduce customers\u2019 annual rate increases under Eversource\u2019s five-year rate plan, along with reconsidering how it treats the accounting and recovery of certain vegetation management expenses, which would save customers over $40 million.\n\nAG Healey\u2019s Energy and Telecommunications Division has been working on the Eversource rate case over the past year, including analyzing all of the company\u2019s filings, questioning the company during the discovery process, cross-examining witnesses during evidentiary hearings, and testifying at 10 public hearings across the state.