The Office of the Consumer Advocate is a signatory to a settlement agreement filed at the Public Utilities Commission on November 1 concerning the request of Eversource NH for approval of its proposed lease of transmission-right-of-way to the Northern Pass project. Here is our office’s statement about the filing:
As the official representative of the interests of Eversource’s residential customers in New Hampshire, the Office of the Consumer Advocate (OCA) is pleased that Northern Pass has agreed both to reasonable lease terms and to a series of separate payments that will ultimately contribute $15 million to projects that will provide real benefits to ratepayers.
We believe this money can be put to good use pursuing least-cost alternatives to future transmission expansion projects. We believe the lease terms fairly compensate ratepayers for the use by Northern Pass of the existing transmission right-of-way that customers have been paying for over the years.
The OCA continues to take no position on whether the Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) should authorize construction of the project. That determination requires the SEC to consider a variety of factors, most of which are in addition to the ratepayer effects the OCA analyzes in its advocacy at the Public Utilities Commission.
The interests of all Eversource customers are ably represented by the Public Counsel in SEC proceedings. As to the ratepayer effects, the OCA is pleased that Northern Pass has, through its agreement with our office and the Staff of the Commission, brought important additional benefits to the table.
The docket at the PUC is DE 15-464 — accessible here: http://www.puc.nh.gov/