AG Appeals Eversource Rate Hike Decision

Maura Healey (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

BOSTON – Attorney General Maura Healey is challenging the ruling by the Department of Public Utilities approving Eversource rate hikes.

In the appeal filed Wednesday, the AG’s Office alleges the DPU violated the state Administrative Procedures Act and precedent by not adequately explaining its order increasing the utility’s allowed shareholder profits, or rate of return on equity.

The DPU approved a 10% shareholder return as part of its decision to increases electric rates by $220 million over five years for 1.4 million customers.

Eversource provides electricity to residents on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard.

“The DPU’s order would increase costs for Massachusetts electricity customers by tens of millions of dollars,” Healey said.

“We are appealing because customers deserve to know why the DPU chose to enrich Eversource shareholders at the expense of electric ratepayers.”

Eversource’s original proposal requested a 10.5 percent ROE. The AG’s Office urged the DPU to reject the request and to lower the ROE to 8.875 percent.

The 10% return is one of the highest rates allowed by an electric distribution company regulator in the last five years.

Healey’s office also filed a motion for reconsideration. The motion urges the DPU to reduce customers’ annual rate increase under Eversource’s five-year rate plan, along with reconsidering how it treats the accounting and recovery of certain vegetation management expenses, which would save customers more than $40 million.

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