BOSTON (Legal Newsline) — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced Jan. 17 that her office will oppose Eversource electric company’s request to increase its customers’ rates by $96 million. Healey’s office's action is part of a larger effort to fight unjustified utility profits at the expense of customers.
“As a regulated public utility, Eversource is required to justify why the state should permit it to raise electric rates on residents and business customers,” Healey said. “Our initial evaluation shows that Eversource should be returning profits to customers as savings, not raising rates. We urge the DPU to reject Eversource’s request for a rate hike.”
Eversource requested to raise the price customers must pay for electricity delivered by NSTAR Electric Company (NSTAR) and Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECo) so it can reach 10.5 percent shareholder profits. From 2010 to 2015, the company’s shareholders received a cumulative return of 89 percent, yet WMECo and NSTAR consumers pay higher prices than similarly situated National Grid customers.
“Because Massachusetts’ small business owners are increasingly concerned that the high cost of energy is affecting their ability to compete here, we will be closely monitoring the proceedings before the Department of Public Utilities and thank Attorney General Healey for her advocacy on behalf of small businesses,” said Bill Vernon, Massachusetts state director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).