NOTICE OF FILING AND REQUEST FOR COMMENTS - D.P.U. 20-GREC-05 - May 11, 2020

NOTICE OF FILING AND REQUEST FOR COMMENTS

D.P.U. 20-GREC-05 May 11, 2020

Petition of Bay State Gas Company d/b/a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, pursuant to G.L. c. 164, § 145, for Approval of the Reconciliation of its 2019 Gas System Enhancement Plan and Review and Approval of its Gas System Enhancement Reconciliation Adjustment Factors.

On May 1, 2020, Bay State Gas Company d/b/a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts (“Bay State” or “Company”) submitted to the Department of Public Utilities (“Department”) a reconciliation of its 2019 gas system enhancement plan (“GSEP”) to replace aging natural gas pipeline infrastructure. Based on the Company’s calculations, it proposes to collect
$7,841,448 from ratepayers as under-recoveries through the gas system enhancement reconciliation adjustment factors (“GSERAFs”) from November 1,  2020  to  October  31, 2021. The Company’s reconciliation filing does not include any projects or costs associated with work completed or undertaken as a result of the September 18, 2018 Merrimack Valley incident. The Company states that its proposed revenue requirement is within the allowed 3.0-percent GSEP cap. The Department has docketed this matter as D.P.U. 20-GREC-05.

The Company proposes the following GSERAFs by rate class sector for effect November 1, 2020:

Rate Class SectorProposed GSERAF ($/Therm)
Residential$0.0181
Low Annual Use Commercial and Industrial (C&I)$0.0196
Medium Annual Use C&I$0.0115
High Annual Use C&I$0.0096
Extra High Annual Use C&I$0.0075

The Company states that approval of the GSERAFs will result in an average monthly bill increase of $2.39, or 1.3 percent, or the average  residential heating customer using 132 therms per month during winter months, and an average monthly bill increase of $0.52, or 1.2 percent, for the average residential heating customer using 29 therms per month during summer months.

On March 10, 2020, Governor Baker issued Executive Order No. 591, Declaration of a State of Emergency to Respond to COVID-19, which required the closing of certain brick and mortar premises, including the Department’s offices, and limited gatherings of more than ten people. Because of the State of Emergency, in lieu of a public hearing and to allow for public participation, the Department is providing an extended written comment period and any person interested in commenting on this matter may submit written comments no later than the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on Monday, June 22, 2020. Written comments from the public may be sent by email to peter.ray@mass.gov, carol.pieper@mass.gov, and the Company’s attorney, Danielle C. Winter, at dwinter@keeganwerlin.com. The Department strongly encourages public comments to be submitted by email. If, however, a member of the public is unable to send written comments by email, a paper copy may be sent to Mark D. Marini, Secretary, Department of Public Utilities, One South Station, 5th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts, 02110.

Any person who desires to participate in the evidentiary phase of this proceeding must file a written petition for leave to intervene with the Department not later than the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on Thursday, May 28, 2020. A petition for leave  to  intervene  must satisfy the timing and substantive requirements of 220 CMR 1.03. Because the State of
Emergency limits access to the Department’s office,  all  petitions for leave to intervene must  be submitted by email only to peter.ray@mass.govcarol.pieper@mass.gov, and the Company’s attorney at dwinter@keeganwerlin.com. Receipt by the Department, not mailing, constitutes filing and determines whether a petition  has  been  timely  filed.  A petition  filed late may be disallowed as untimely, unless good cause is shown for waiver under 220 CMR 1.01(4). To be allowed, a petition under 220 CMR 1.03(1)  must  satisfy  the standing requirements of G.L. c. 30A, § 10. All responses to petitions to intervene must be filed by email by the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on the second  business day after the  petition to intervene was filed. The Attorney General  of  the  Commonwealth  of Massachusetts filed a notice to intervene in this matter pursuant to G.L. c. 12, § 11E(a). Documents provided to the Department must specify: (1) the docket number of the proceeding (D.P.U. 20-GREC-05); (2) the name of the person or company  submitting the filing; (3) a brief descriptive title of the document; and (4) the name, title, email address, and telephone number of a person to contact in the event of questions about the filing. The Company’s filing and all related documents submitted to the Department 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-GREC-05”).

A paper  copy of the filing will not be available for public viewing at the Company’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@state.ma.us.

Any person desiring further information regarding the Company’s filing or a paper copy of the filing should contact counsel for the Company, Danielle C. Winter, at 617-951-1400 or dwinter@keeganwerlin.com. For further information regarding this notice, please contact Carol Pieper, Hearing Officer, Department of Public Utilities, at carol.pieper@mass.gov.

NOTICE OF FILING AND REQUEST FOR COMMENTS - D.P.U. 20-SQ-01 - April 6, 2020

NOTICE OF FILING AND REQUEST FOR COMMENTS

D.P.U. 20-SQ-01 April 6, 2020

Investigation by the Department of Public Utilities into Bay State Gas Company d/b/a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts’ 2019 Service Quality Report filed pursuant to Service Quality Standards for Electric Distribution Companies and Local Gas Distribution Companies, D.P.U. 12-120-D (2015).

On February 28, 2020, Bay State Gas Company d/b/a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts (“Company”) filed with the Department of Public Utilities (“Department”) the Company’s 2019 service quality report (“2019 SQ Report”) for the period January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019. The Company’s 2019 SQ Report compares its performance during 2019 with the Department’s service quality guidelines set forth in Service Quality Standards for Electric Distribution Companies and Local Gas Distribution Companies, D.P.U. 12-120-D (2015) (“SQ Guidelines”), and the Company’s service quality plan that the Department approved in Bay State Gas Company, D.P.U. 16-80 (2017)). Per the SQ Guidelines, gas distribution companies may be subject to penalties for failure to meet the Department’s SQ performance standards for: Class I/Class II odor calls, service appointments met, Customer Complaints and Consumer Credit Cases. The Department has docketed this matter as D.P.U. 20-SQ-01.

The Department will accept written comments on the Company’s 2019 SQ Report. Any person interested in commenting on this matter may submit written comments no later than the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on May 22, 2020. 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. On March 10, 2020, Governor Baker issued a state of emergency related to COVID-19 for the entire Commonwealth.

Ordinarily, all parties would follow Sections B.1 and B.4 of the Department’s Standard Ground Rules (D.P.U. 15-184-A, App. 1 (March 4, 2020)); however, 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. Importantly, all large files submitted must be broken down into electronic files that do not exceed 20 MB.

In addition, one copy of all written comments should be emailed to the Company’s attorney, Kenneth Christman, Esq. at kchrist@nisource.com.

All documents must be submitted to the Department in pdf format by e-mail attachment to peter.ray@mass.gov and Lauren.Morris@mass.gov. The text of the e-mail must specify: (1) the docket number of the proceeding (D.P.U. 20-SQ-01); (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. To the extent a person or entity wishes to submit comments in accordance with this Notice, electronic submission, as detailed above, is sufficient. To request materials in accessible formats (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format) for people with disabilities contact Department’s ADA coordinator at DPUADACoordinator@state.ma.us.

The Company’s filing and all subsequent related documents, pleadings and/or filings submitted to the Department and/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 (insert 20-SQ-01). A paper copy of the filing will not be available for public viewing at the Company’s offices or the Department due to the state of emergency. Any person desiring further information regarding the Company’s filing or a paper copy of the filing should contact Kenneth Christman, Esq., at 724-416-6315 or kchrist@nisource.com. For further information regarding this notice, please contact Lauren Morris, Hearing Officer, Department of Public Utilities, at Lauren.Morris@mass.gov.

NOTICE OF FILING AND REQUEST FOR COMMENTS - D.P.U. 20-10 - February 10, 2020

NOTICE OF FILING AND REQUEST FOR COMMENTS

D.P.U. 20-10 February 10, 2020

Petition of Bay State Gas Company d/b/a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts for approval of its Revenue Decoupling Adjustment Factors for the 2020 Off-Peak  Period,  May 1, 2020, through October 31, 2020.

On January 31, 2020, Bay State Gas Company d/b/a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts (“Company”) filed a petition with the Department of Public Utilities (“Department”) for approval of its revenue decoupling adjustment factors (“RDAFs”), for effect May 1, 2020. This filing was made pursuant to: Bay State Gas Company, D.P.U. 15-50 (2016); Reduction in Federal Income Tax Rates, D.P.U. 18-15-A (2018); and the Company’s revenue decoupling adjustment clause (“RDAC”) tariff, M.D.P.U. No. 285A. The RDAC allows the Company to modify, on a semi-annual basis, its base distribution rates as a result of changes in customer usage, in order to promote the efficient deployment of demand resources. Bay State Gas Company, D.P.U. 09-30, at 25-26, 87 (2009). The Department has docketed this petition as D.P.U. 20-10.

The Company proposes RDAF charges of $0.0562 per therm  for  residential customers, $0.0511 per therm for low annual commercial and industrial customers (“C&I”), $0.0237 per therm for medium annual C&I customers, $0.0141 per therm for high annual C&I customers, and $0.0074 per therm for extra high annual C&I customers, effective May 1, 2020 through October 31, 2020.  As a  result  of the proposed changes to  the  RDAF, the average residential heating customer using approximately 29 therms per month during the off-peak period will experience a bill decrease of $0.25 per month, or about 0.55 percent, as compared to bills during the previously effective off-peak RDAF. The Company states that the average monthly bill impact for all rate classes at each class’s average use during the off-peak period will range from decreases of 0.66 percent to 0.10 percent as compared to bills during last year’s off-peak period. For specific bill impacts, please contact the Company as shown below.

Any person interested in commenting on this matter may submit written comments no later than the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on April 17, 2020. One original copy of all written documents must be filed with Mark D. Marini, Secretary, Department of Public Utilities, One South Station, 5th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02110. In addition, one copy of all written comments should be sent to the Company’s attorney, Kenneth W. Christman, Esq., NiSource Corporate Services Company, 121 Champion Way, Suite 100, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania 15317.

All documents should also be submitted to the Department in electronic format using one of the following methods: (1) by e-mail attachment to dpu.efiling@mass.gov and to the Hearing Officer, Jessica.Ellis@mass.gov or (2) on a CD-ROM. The text of the e-mail or CD-ROM must specify: (1) the docket number of the proceeding (D.P.U. 20-10); (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: http://www.mass.gov/dpu.

A copy of the filing is available for public  viewing during regular business hours at the Department, One  South Station, 5th Floor,  Boston, Massachusetts 02110.  The  filing is also available on the Department’s website, https://eeaonline.eea.state.ma.us/DPU/Fileroom/dockets/bynumber (enter “20-10”). To request materials in accessible formats (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format) contact the Department’s ADA Coordinator at DPUADACoordinator@mass.gov or 1-617-305-3500.

Any person desiring further information regarding the Company’s filing should contact its counsel, Kenneth W. Christman, Esq., at  1-724-416-6315. For further information regarding this notice, please contact Jessica Ellis, Hearing Officer, Department  of Public Utilities, at 1-617-305-3500.

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