Investigate the Results Reporting of the National Grid Worcester Smart Meter Pilot Program

HOUSE DOCKET NO. 2840 An Act An Emergency Act to Investigate the Results Reporting of the National Grid Worcester Smart Meter Pilot Program and its Implications for the Department of Public Utilities Grid Modernization, Time of Use, and Smart Meter Proceedings. Petition of Patricia Burke, PRESENTED BY: Shawn Dooley, (BY REQUEST) https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/HD3596

 HOUSE RESOLVE HD. 2888 Resolve to Investigate the Results Reporting of the National Grid Worcester Smart Meter Pilot Program and its Implications for the Department of Public Utilities Grid Modernization, Time of Use, and Smart Meter Proceedings. Petition of Pamela Steinberg, PRESENTED BY: John J. Mahoney, (BY REQUEST) https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/HD3428

National Grid, Navigant, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities;
An Overview of Misleading and/or Fraudulent
Worcester National Grid Smart Meter Pilot Program Results Reporting

Page 1: Overview                                                                                                                                       

Page 2: Three Examples of Misleading Public Claims

Regarding Worcester Smart Meter Pilot Program Results

Page 3: Three Critiques of the inaccurate and Misleading Pilot Results Reporting:                          

Participation, Cost Savings, Energy Savings

Page 7: Conclusion     

Overview

In 2008, investor-owned utilities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts were directed to design and implement smart meter pilot programs, in accordance with Section 85 of the Green Communities Act.[1] In 2012, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities authorized National Grid to run a 2-year pilot program budgeted for $45M, involving 15,000 homes and businesses in the city of Worcester, MA.[2]  ‘Smart’ electricity meters were installed on homes and businesses selected by National Grid. The program was promoted as “free” to the community and to participants, who were not charged for the meters or for their choice of enabling technologies. The cost of the pilot was borne by National Grid ratepayers.

The Worcester pilot was behind schedule and over-budget. Reported costs grew to $60M before the pilot reached the halfway mark of the time-of-use and critical peak period pricing experiments being conducted on consumers. In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities authorized National Grid to extend the pilot for 2 years, pending a decision regarding full statewide deployment of smart meters for investor-owned utilities.

The pilot formally ended on December 31, 2018.

The purpose of this analysis is to advocate for an audit and investigation concerning the integrity of the pilot results reporting and cost-benefit analysis, before the Commonwealth pursues further smart meter initiatives and expenditures to ratepayers, due to the following objections about the results claims reported by Navigant Consulting and promoted by National Grid;

  • Inaccurate misleading reporting of retention, opt outs, and number of participants;
  • Inaccurate misleading reporting of cost savings;
  • Inaccurate misleading reporting of energy savings.

[1] https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2008/Chapter169 Section 85 of the Green Communities Act requires each electric distribution company to file with the Department of Public Utilities (“Department”) a proposal for conducting a smart grid pilot program. St. 2008, c. 169, § 85 (“Section 85”).  [2] MA DPU 11-129

Three Examples of Misleading Claims Regarding the Worcester Pilot, William Jones of National Grid, Navigant,  and Mary Reed of National Grid (listed by date)

For the complete document please click here for the PDF: MA House 2888 and 2840