Electric company has recovery limited in settlement with AG Coakley

John O'Brien Jul. 24, 2007, 3:51pm


BOSTON - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has reached a settlement over a settlement, she announced Tuesday.

Coakley and NSTAR Electric Co. agreed to change the company's recovery of incentive payments under a 2005 settlement. The company, which serves more than 1 million customers in 81 cities, also will also implement a pilot pricing program and an energy program that will allow customers to purchase energy supplied from wind farms.

NSTAR was seeking to recover approximately $30 million from consumers under the terms of the 2005 settlement, or 25 percent of savings it achieved by binging federal agency challenges to energy contracts.

That recovery is reduced by $11 million as a result of the most recent settlement. Also, the company's ability to recover any savings it achieves is limited to 12.5 percent.

Coakley said customers are the winners in the agreement. If it is approved, NSTAR said it will begin enrolling customers in the wind programs in the fall, and service will begin in January 2008.

"Today's agreement saves our residential and commercial customers millions of dollars, both in the short and long term," Coakley said. "In addition to the significant customer savings, this agreement contains important programs that will reduce our region's reliance on fossil fuels, greenhouse gases and consumers' demand for energy."

NSTAR's Dynamic Pricing Pilot Program will allow customers to purchase a "smart" meter that helps them be billed different amounts during different parts of the day. The most costly energy will come from the early afternoon to early evening.

Also, NSTAR will execute two long-term wind contracts that allow customers to purchase either half or all their power from two wind farms, one in Maine and one in New York.

State regulators must approve the agreement.

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