Public Meeting Probes Proposed Eversource Price Hike

BARNSTABLE – Eversource held a hearing in Barnstable Village Monday night on its proposed 7 percent rate increase.

The company, which provides power to Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, filed a request in January with the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to update the company’s electric rates by a $60.2 million delivery revenue increase.

Those in attendance, including representatives from several local legislators’ offices and from Mass. Attorney General’s office, were widely against the effort.

Speakers at the hearing cited several core reasons why they were against a rate increase, but the most resounding opinion was that the return on equity of 10.5 percent such an increase would create is too high.

According to a representative reading a letter from Attorney General Maura Healey’s office, no other energy company in the nation has requested a return on equity that high.

Other opponents, such as State Representative Tim Whelan, said Cape Codders pay some of the highest energy rates in the region, and that the increase would essentially come off as an unsustainable tax.

Mike Crowley, a resident of Hyannis who said his electric bill in January was nearly $300 for a single-person small cottage, said a rate hike would be unsustainable.

“It would further the exodus of young people from Cape Cod if electric rates run that high,” Crowley said. “How can a state-mandated monopoly claim to be losing 6 million dollars?”

Eversource spokesman Mike Durand said the company has wisely spent money to improve services. He said that the number of power outages have reduced by 24 percent over the past 10 years.

He said this is the first distribution rate case filed in 25 years, and that the increase would help to modernize the company’s grid.

A decision from the DPU on whether to allow the increase is expected by November 30th, 2017. Should it be approved, the hike would take effect on January 1st, 2018.

About NewsCenter

The award-winning NewsCenter provides the Cape Cod community with a constant, credible source for local news. We are on the job seven days a week.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy