Archive for October, 2017

10/26/17 Results from Patricia Burke and the statehouse hearing of the telecom committee on a group of 29 bills pertaining to gas pipelines

https://malegislature.gov/Events/Hearings/Detail/2797

Angels were with us. Among the gas bills are two DPU reform bills that would allow a group of 10 ratepayers to intervene in DPU gas and electricity dockets. The Senate had a full hearing at about the same time at 10:45 am and the house had an informal hearing starting at 11:00 amso it is likely that those who came to testify ended up talking to staff members and not many legislators. We saw Sen Pacheco’s staff chief at the elevator (Pacheco is the chair of the committee) and were told that he was at another meeting for the committee chairs already. We did not plan to testify at the hearing, but to give out info, and we did   : )

We brought 2 flyers….one about Peter Valberg DPU tobacco scientist and one about lack of protection for community rights and problems with the Worcester smart meter pilot and reporting and we gave one to each person n the hearing room, about 125.  We didn’t specifically try to convince people about smart meter issues, we talked about abuse of the process of community consent.

Many people stopped to speak with us, from Mom’s out front, 350.org, and other groups.  There were also about 5 groups there on the issue of the energy siting board  (power plants etc) …and that also pertains to Valberg. One group made neon signs that said “No more fossil fuels” on one side, and “reform the DPU” on the other side for people to hold up, and they were also happy to see our flyer. We also met a young and very upset father who was there to testify specifically about how Peter Valberg said that powerlines at his house in Winchester were safe.

Overall, it was a  success. We did not sign in to testify as we felt it was much more effective to give people info.

There are two versions of the omnibus energy bill and both include/focus EXCLUSIVELY ON smart meters- one is by Sen Pacheco…..I think that we would be very well served to plan to have a presence at that hearing when it gets scheduled….and to do something visible…and for this one, to make a flyer about smart meters specifically…It is clear to me that people do not know about smart meters….and that the omnibus energy bills is a smart meter bill.

Rep Jennifer Flangan’s Bill is based on smart meters vai these docket numbers;

https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/H1725/

(b) The Department shall issue an order concluding the current Grid Modernization Proceedings (D.P.U. 15-120, 15-121 and 15-122) by December 31, 2017.

Sen Pacheco’s Bill also:

https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/S1875

(b) The Department shall issue an order concluding the current Grid Modernization Proceedings (D.P.U. 15-120, 15-121 and 15-122) by December 31, 2017.

SECTION 6: Section 1B of Chapter 164 of the General Laws is amended by inserting after subsection (f), as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, the following section:

(g) Beginning on January 1, 2018, each distribution company shall offer to default service customers an option to choose a time of use rate designed to reflect the cost of providing electricity at different times of the day. Each distribution company shall provide each default service customer, not less than once per year, a summary of available rate options with a calculation of expected bill impacts under each. Should a customer opt into a time of use rate, the distribution company shall install all necessary equipment within 60 days of request. Any residential customer choosing for the first time a time of use rate shall be provided with no less than one year of bill protection, during which the total amount paid by the customer for electric service shall not exceed the amount that would have been payable by the customer under that customer’s previous rate schedule. A customer may choose a different rate schedule after one year. If the Department approves default service rates that include time-varying pricing on a mandatory or opt-out basis, this offering structure may be discontinued, but each distribution company must offer a time-varying default service rate at all times.

 

 

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