Approximately 39,000 affected customers and state alternative heating programs will receive $500 million from Iberdola and UIL Holdings Corp., the parent company of Berkshire Gas Co. (Berkshire) in an agreement announced by Attorney General Maura Healey and the Department of Energy Resources.
The agreement ensures that the merger of UIL and Iberdola, an international energy company based in Spain, will serve public interests in Massachusetts.
“As the ratepayer advocate for Massachusetts, it’s our job to ensure that we are getting the best possible outcome for residents and that economic benefits resulting from the merger benefit customers,” said Healey.
The affected customers in the settlement will receive approximately $100 in bill credits spread over two years of winter heating seasons. Berkshire is also prohibited from raising distribution rates for two years under the agreement.
The agreement also ensures that operations will remain in Massachusetts and existing labor contracts will be honored. In addition, Berkshire will maintain its current employment rate for the next three years, maintain its charitable giving for four years and increase contributions by $80,000 in the first year of the merger.
“The agreement reached will secure both economic and environmental benefits for residents and businesses,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The settlement will provide direct relief to consumer energy bills as well as new opportunities for renewable technologies in western Massachusetts.”