The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC UTILITIES
NOTICE OF FILING AND PUBLIC HEARING
D.P.U. 20-108 February 2, 2021
Petition of the Town of Lenox for approval by the Department of Public Utilities of an amended municipal aggregation plan pursuant to G.L. c. 164, § 134.
On September 23, 2020, the Town of Lenox (“Town”) filed a request with the Department of Public Utilities (“Department”) for approval of an amended municipal aggregation plan pursuant to G.L. c. 164, § 134. General Laws c. 164, § 134 authorizes a municipality to procure electric supply on behalf of consumers within its municipal borders through a municipal aggregation program (“Program”). Eligible electricity consumers not already enrolled with a competitive electric supplier are automatically enrolled in the Program unless they chose to opt-out, in which case they continue to receive basic service provided by their electric distribution company, either Massachusetts Electric Company d/b/a National Grid or NSTAR Electric Company d/b/a Eversource Energy. The Department approved the Town’s municipal aggregation plan in D.P.U. 13-138 on July 2, 2014. Town of Lenox, et al., D.P.U. 13-136 through D.P.U. 13-145 (2014). The Department docketed this petition as D.P.U. 20-108.
The Town has retained Colonial Power Group, Inc., to serve as its agent in this proceeding and consultant to assist in the implementation of the Program. The Town proposes to amend its municipal aggregation plan to add one or more optional opt-in electricity supply products that may include more Renewable Energy Certificates (“RECs”) than are required to meet the minimum Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard (“RPS”) obligation. In addition, the Town proposes to charge Program participants an operational adder of up to $0.001 per kilowatt-hour as part of the Program’s supply charge, to fund personnel costs associated with an energy manager position to assist with the Program. Finally, the Town proposes a number of amendments to its municipal aggregation plan to bring it into compliance with current Department directives.
Due to the COVID-19 state of emergency issued by Governor Baker on March 10, 2020, and certain ongoing restrictions and safety measures relating to in-person events, the Department will conduct a virtual public hearing to receive comments on the Town’s filing. The Department will conduct the hearing using Zoom videoconferencing on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, beginning at 2:30 p.m. Attendees can join by entering the link, https://zoom.us/j/97904726304, from a computer, smartphone, or tablet. No prior software download is required. For audio-only access to the hearings, attendees can dial in at (646) 558-8656 (not toll free) and then enter the Meeting ID# 979 0472 6304. If you anticipate providing comments via Zoom during the public hearing, please send an email by close of business (5:00 p.m.) on Monday, February 22, 2021, to email@example.com with your name, email address, and mailing address.
Alternately, any person who desires to comment on this matter may submit written comments to the Department via email no later than the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on Thursday, February 25, 2021. To the extent a person wishes to submit comments in accordance with this Notice, electronic submission, as detailed below, is sufficient.
All written comments or other documents should be submitted to the Department in PDF format by e-mail attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. In addition, all written comments should be emailed to James M. Avery, Esq., counsel for the Town’s agent, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The text of the e-mail must specify: (1) the docket number of the proceeding (D.P.U. 20-108); (2) the name of the person or company submitting the filing; and (3) a brief descriptive title of the document. All documents submitted in electronic format will be posted on the Department’s website as soon as practicable at http://www.mass.gov/dpu. The e-mail must also include the name, title, and telephone number of a person to contact in the event of questions about the filing. Importantly, all large files must be broken down into electronic files that do not exceed 20MB.
At this time, all filings will be submitted only in electronic format in recognition of the difficulty that parties and the Department may have filing and receiving original copies. Ordinarily, parties would follow Sections B.1 and B.4 of the Department’s Standard Ground Rules regarding the filing of original paper copies (D.P.U. 15-184-A, App. 1 (March 4, 2020)). However, due to the Commonwealth’s state of emergency, until further notice, parties must retain the original paper version and the Department will later determine when the paper version must be filed with the Department Secretary.
The Town’s filing and all related documents submitted to or issued by the Department will be available on the Department’s website as soon as is practicable at https://eeaonline.eea.state.ma.us/DPU/Fileroom/dockets/bynumber (enter “20-108”). A paper copy of the filing will not be available for public viewing at the Town’s offices or the Department due to the state of emergency. To request materials in accessible formats (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format) for people with disabilities, contact the Department’s ADA coordinator at DPUADACoordinator@mass.gov.
Any person desiring further information regarding the Town’s filing or a paper copy of the filing should contact James M. Avery, Esq. at email@example.com or (617) 488-8125. Any person desiring further information regarding this notice should contact Katherine Lee Goyette, Hearing Officer, Department of Public Utilities, at firstname.lastname@example.org.