2023 Electric Distribution Rate Review

We recently filed a rate review with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU). If approved, new rates under the Delivery portion of your bill will take effect in January 2023. Read the public notices (D.P.U. 22-22)

What is a rate review?

In Massachusetts, a rate review is a regulatory process conducted by the DPU to independently review our proposal to adjust distribution rates. This process has a number of steps and can last up to 10 months.

Why is a rate review necessary?

We're proud to provide safe, reliable electric service and to take a leadership role in preparing for Massachusetts’ energy future. Delivering on these commitments requires sustained investment in our system. We participate in a performance-based ratemaking (PBR) plan that expires at the end of 2022. We need approval from the DPU to extend the plan to enable us to continue making investments in a reliable and resilient system.

Our plans for future investment

We plan to continue investments to make our system more flexible and resilient, while preparing for increased electrification as Massachusetts acts to reduce its carbon emissions.

Safety and reliability

Investments in reliability and the safety of our system are not only important for our customers, but for the economic development of the region. If new rates are approved, our customers will benefit from fewer and shorter outages due to:

A smarter and more advanced electric system

  • Expanded automated switching—giving us greater ability to reroute power around problems
  • Additional electric circuit rebuilds, upgrades, segmenting and circuit ties—helping to reduce the number of customers impacted by an outage

Eliminating a major cause of power outages

  • Continued vegetation management—helping remove hazard trees across our state

Clean and renewable energy

We plan to continue taking a leadership role in preparing for Massachusetts’ energy future. If new rates are approved, we'll be able to support our customers’ growing electricity needs and electrification abilities. Examples of future investment areas include:

  • Upgrading infrastructure and facilitating interconnections to support increased use of clean energy technologies (including electric vehicle charging)
  • Helping customers use less energy by investing in energy efficiency programs and services
  • Expanding battery energy storage capabilities, which backstop the reliability of the system while major projects are under development
  • Implementing an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) tariff beginning with the implementation of a new customer information system

How new rates would impact your bill

If approved, impacts for customers will vary depending on customer location, rate and the amount of electricity used. Rates would change on January 1, 2023.

Massachusetts Residential Customers
Rate Classification Typical
Monthly
Use (kWh)
Change Percent Change
R-1 Non-Heating  530-550 $7 5-6%
R-2 Non-Heating Assistance 480-590 $4-$5 6%
R-3 Residential Heating 745-805 $17-$18 10%
R-4 Residential Heating Assistance 845-995 $12-$14 10%

*Subject to regulatory review and approval

These rates are the most common for residential customers. You may have a different rate. View a full list of Western Massachusetts delivery rates

How our current PBR plan has benefited customers

Our investments through the current PBR plan have provided direct and measurable customer benefits, including:

  • Rate stability - Annual rate adjustments under PBR allow us to avoid large and unpredictable base-rate increases, providing customers with rate stability
  • Cost containment - Over the past five years, we have held our non-storm related operating and maintenance expenses to the 2017 test year level
  • Performance - System investments made since PBR was implemented have significantly increased customer satisfaction and improved the customer experience. A few data points:

    • Reliability is strong. We remain a top performer in the industry as measured in Months Between Interruption (MBI)
    • We have reduced the duration of outages by 7 percent as measured by the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI)
    • We’ve reduced the number of customers per outage by 31 percent through improved segmentation of circuits
    • We removed more than 100,000 hazard trees from our system, eliminating a major cause of outages
    • Our J.D. Power scores – an independently conducted gauge of customer satisfaction – have increased by 10 percent
    • Digital engagement by customers has increased 6 percent

What's next? Here's how a rate review works

A rate review is the regulatory proceeding conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to review a utility’s proposal to adjust rates.

  1. We file a notice with the DPU indicating that we intend to file a rate case. We can file 30 days after this notice. (We filed a notice on January 14, 2022)
  2. We determine the revenue deficiency, which is the amount of money collected in rates versus the amount of money required for investments and operational and maintenance costs.
  3. We conduct a Cost of Service Study (COSS) to determine costs to provide service to different types of customers, such as residential, small business, and commercial and industrial customers.
  4. We file a detailed rate case with the DPU. This filing proposes rate adjustments by customer type, using the COSS. (We filed a detailed rate case with the DPU on January 14, 2022)
  5. The DPU issues a notice for our rate case and schedules public hearings to provide feedback on the rate case proposal.
  6. The DPU conducts a comprehensive review of the rate case and issues a ruling within 10 months. The review process includes several days of hearings.

Public hearing

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) will conduct public hearings for comments about the proposal.

Hearing 1: March 29, 2022 at 10 a.m.

Hearing 2: March 31, 2022 at 6 p.m.

Hearing 3: May 4, 2022 at 6 p.m.

Support for Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin

When using the Zoom platform, you will be able to listen to the hearing and provide comments in Spanish, Portuguese, or Mandarin. To access interpretation services during the hearing, click on the “Interpretation” button on the menu at the bottom of the Zoom application screen.