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ISO-New England signs settlement with New England states

By Bryan Cohen | May 14, 2013

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) -- Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen on Monday announced a settlement between Independent System Operator-New England and the states of New England, reining in and establishing oversight for ISO-NE's budget.

ISO-NE operates the regional transmission grid and electricity markets for the six New England states, including Connecticut.

There is currently no New England public utility commission that has a formal oversight role related to ISO-NE's budget, even though the organization is directly and indirectly funded by New England taxpayers.

The proposed settlement would establish oversight procedures to allow Connecticut's Public Utilities Regulatory Agency, its five New England counterparts and other state agencies to review and provide feedback for annual ISO-NE budget proposals.

The agreement, which was filed for approval Monday by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, also would reduce the 2013 administrative and capital budgets for ISO-NE by $2.85 million.

"This settlement provides for immediate reductions in ISO-NE's spending," Jepsen said in a statement. "More importantly, the settlement includes all of the states' requested changes to the budget process.

"These changes will give the New England states better and timely access to ISO-NE budget information and allow regulators to play a more meaningful budget oversight role to the benefit of ratepayers."

In November, PURA, Jepsen and Connecticut Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz joined with regulatory agencies from Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine to file an action with FERC against a ISO-NE proposed budget that would increase its combined 2013 administrative and capital budgets by 10 percent.

Connecticut and other states involved in the settlement have requested an expedited ruling on the matter.

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