D.P.U. 19-SQ-01

Investigation by the Department of Public Utilities into Bay State Gas Company d/b/a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts’ 2018 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 March 1, 2019, Bay State Gas Company d/b/a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts (“Company”) filed with the Department of Public Utilities (“Department”) the Company’s 2018 service quality report (“2018 SQ Report”) for the period January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018. The Company’s 2018 SQ Report compares its performance during 2018 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/b/a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, D.P.U. 16-80 (2017). Per the SQ Guidelines, local gas distribution companies may be subject to penalties for failure to meet the Department’s SQ performance standards for: response time to Class I/Class II odor calls, service appointments met, and the number of Consumer Division cases. The Department docketed the Company’s 2018 SQ Report as D.P.U. 19-SQ-01.

The Department will accept written comments on the Company’s 2018 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 10, 2019. One original and one 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, Shaela McNulty Collins, Esq., NiSource Corporate Services Company, 4 Technology Drive, Suite 250, Westborough Massachusetts 01581.

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 lauren.morris@mass.gov, or (2) on a USB drive. The text of the e-mail or USB drive must specify: (1) the docket number of the proceeding (D.P.U. 19-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: http://www.mass.gov/dpu.

A copy of the filing is available for public viewing during regular business hours at the Company’s offices at 4 Technology Drive, Suite 250, Westborough, Massachusetts 01581; and at the Department, One South Station, 5th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02110. In addition, the filing is also available on the Department’s website at https://eeaonline.eea.state.ma.us/DPU/Fileroom/dockets/bynumber. 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 or 1-617-305-3500. Any person desiring further information regarding the Company’s filing should contact Shaela McNulty Collins, Esq., at 1-508-836-7038. For further information regarding this notice, please contact Lauren Morris, Hearing Officer, Department of Public Utilities, at 1-617-305-3500.

D.P.U. 19-GREC-05

Petition of Bay State Gas Company d/b/a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, pursuant to G.L. c. 164, § 145, for review and approval of the reconciliation of its 2018 Gas System Enhancement Plan and for review and approval of its Gas System Enhancement Reconciliation Adjustment Factors.

On May 1, 2019, Bay State Gas Company d/b/a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts (“Company”) submitted to the Department of Public Utilities (“Department”) a reconciliation of its 2018 gas system enhancement plan (“GSEP”) to replace aging natural gas pipeline infrastructure. Based on the Company’s calculations, it proposes to collect $1,502,387 from ratepayers as under-recoveries through the gas system enhancement reconciliation adjustment factors (“GSERAF”) from November 1, 2019 to October 31, 2020. The Company’s reconciliation adjustment includes a $183,297 reduction to remove the impact of the September 18, 2018 Merrimack Valley incident, and excludes costs associated with work completed or undertaken in relation to the incident. The Company states that the entirety of the proposed GSERAF revenue requirement exceeds the 1.5-percent GSEP cap and, thus, seeks a waiver of the cap. The Department has docketed this matter as D.P.U. 19-GREC-05.

The Company proposes the following GSERAFs by rate class sector for effect November 1, 2019:

Rate Class Sector Proposed GSERAF ($/Therm)
Residential $0.0035
Low Annual Use Commercial & Industrial (“C&I”)  
$0.0036
Medium Annual Use C&I $0.0023
High Annual Use C&I $0.0019
Extra High Annual Use C&I $0.0015

The Company states that approval of the GSERAF will result in an average monthly bill increase of $0.87, or 0.44 percent for the average residential heating customer using 132 therms per month during winter months, and an average monthly bill increase of $0.19, or 0.41 percent for the average residential heating customer using 29 therms per month during summer months.

The Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (“Attorney General”) filed a notice to intervene in this matter pursuant to G.L. c. 12, § 11E(a). Further, pursuant to G.L. c. 12, § 11E(b), the Attorney General filed a notice of intent to retain experts and consultants to assist in her investigation of the Company’s filing, and has requested Department approval to spend up to $150,000 in this regard. Pursuant to G.L. c. 12, § 11E(b), the costs incurred by the Attorney General relative to her retention of experts and consultants may be recovered in the Company’s rates. Any person who desires to comment on the Attorney General’s notice of intent to retain experts and consultants in this matter may submit written comments to the Department not later than the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on Wednesday, May 29, 2019.

The Department will conduct a public hearing to receive comments on the Company’s petition. The hearing will take place on Wednesday, June 5, 2019, at 2:00 p.m., at the Department’s offices, One South Station, 5th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02110. A procedural conference will take place immediately following the public hearing to establish a schedule for the evidentiary phase of this case. Any person who desires to comment on the Company’s petition may do so at the time and place noted above, or submit written comments to the Department not later than the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on Wednesday, June 5, 2019.

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 Wednesday, May 29, 2019. A petition for leave to intervene must satisfy the timing and substantive requirements of 220 CMR 1.03. 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 the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on the second business day after the petition to intervene was filed.

An original and one (1) copy of all written comments or petitions to intervene must be filed with Mark D. Marini, Secretary, Department of Public Utilities, One South Station, 5th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02110 not later than the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on the dates noted above. One copy of all written comments or petitions to intervene must also be sent to the Company’s attorney, Danielle C. Winter, Esq., Keegan Werlin, LLP, 99 High Street, Suite 2900, Boston, Massachusetts 02110.

All documents must 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 Kerri DeYoung Phillips, Hearing Officer, kerri.phillips@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. 19-GREC-05); (2) the name of the person or company submitting the filing; and (3) a brief descriptive title of the document. The electronic filing must also include the name, title, and telephone number of a person to contact in the event of questions about the filing. All documents submitted in electronic format will be posted on the Department’s website: http://web1.env.state.ma.us/DPU/FileRoom/dockets/bynumber (enter “19-GREC-05”).

Copies of the Company’s filing and the Attorney General’s notice of intent to retain experts and consultants are on file at the Department’s offices, One South Station, 5th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02110 for public viewing during regular business hours, and on the Department’s website. To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (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 counsel for the Company, Danielle C. Winter, Esq., at 1-617-951-1400. Any person desiring further information regarding this notice should contact Kerri DeYoung Phillips, Hearing Officer, Department of Public Utilities, at 1-617-305-3500.

Reasonable accommodations at public or evidentiary hearings for people with disabilities are available upon request. Include a description of the accommodation you will need, including as much detail as you can. Also include a way the Department can contact you if we need more information. Please provide as much advance notice as possible. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may not be able to be accommodated. Contact the Department’s ADA Coordinator at DPUADACoordinator@state.ma.us or 1-617-305-3500.

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