By Yann Brandt
What: Massachusetts DPU Adds over $4,000 in Charges To Residential Solar Customers In Eversource Rate Hike
Summary: The MA DPU, currently in the process of creating the SMART rules, raised rates and created drastic uncertainty for solar customers in the Eversource area. The monopoly had requested increase rates and charges for its residential customers, requiring solar customers to pay as much as $9,400 over the life of the solar asset. The decision is being appealed by Vote Solar through its representative, Earthjustice.
SolarWakeup View: Not only is this bad for Eversource customers, it seems to go against the spirit of the energy future in Massachusetts. The DPU is deep in the docket to decide the next generation of solar under the SMART program and is now signaling a worrisome anti-solar direction. I asked Vote Solar’s Northeast Senior Director, Sean Garren, about this and he said,
“The future of solar in Massachusetts has been damaged by the Eversource decision, and the hope for SMART solar policy has been dimmed with it. 1,600 MW of new solar just got a whole lot harder.”
A day later, the MA DOER released solid results for the first block of the SMART program which still requires the program to become a tariff within the DPU. Rates for the first block averaged well about $0.15/kWh and went as high as $0.17 for the NSTAR region.