National Grid secures grid modernisation greenlight in Rhode Island


In the US state of Rhode Island, the Public Utilities Commission has given utility National Grid a greenlight to raise consumer energy tariffs to fund grid modernisation.

Tariffs for residential electric customers will increase by 3.5%, while an average gas consumer will witness a 0.9% decrease in costs.

This means tariffs will increase by $3.67 for an average 500KWh electric customer, whilst an average gas consumer will save $10.78 per month.

Initially filed in November 2017, the approved grid modernisation proposal has been negotiated by the energy regulator, the utility, the Office of Energy Resources and twelve stakeholder intervenors.

The parties involved in the negotiation process will update National Grid’s grid modernisation framework over the next three years .

The approval stipulates National Grid will:

  • Reduce original one‐year base rate request by 75%
  • Lower return‐on‐equity from the current 9.5% to 9.275%
  • Return 100% of the benefits of the lower federal corporate tax rate over the three year rate plan to ratepayers as a direct offset to rates
  • Double the current discount offered to income‐eligible electric and gas customers to 25% of the total bill
  • Increase electric business by 4.31% and by 2.74% for its gas business

Investments to be made in grid modernisation aim to:

  • Make the electric grid more secure, transparent, and controllable
  • Initiate electric vehicle and energy storage programmes
  • Create a new performance incentive mechanism to encourage system efficiency and to measure a broad range of additional metrics

DPUC Administrator Macky McCleary, said: “Today’s PUC order is another significant step in Rhode Island’s journey to modernise the electric grid so our residents, businesses and communities can benefit from cleaner, lower‐cost energy resources.

State Energy Commissioner Carol Grant, added: “Building on the Governor’s vision outlined in the Power Sector Transformation initiative and the hard work of all the stakeholders and the Division, the PUC’s order continues Rhode Island’s momentum toward a cleaner, more reliable and affordable energy system.”