Energy - Rate Cases


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Members of the practice group frequently represent regulated utilities in all aspects of ratemaking before regulatory agencies. This includes representing electric T&D utilities and gas LDCs in traditional rate cases, involving issues such as ROE, attrition, test year adjustments and amortizations. The group has also negotiated a number of long term rate plans on behalf of electric and gas utilities, including performance based incentives, productivity offsets, minimum service quality standards, profit sharing and government mandates. The firm also has represented utilities in stranded cost rate cases arising out of the restructuring of the Maine electric utilities in 2000; requests for accounting orders providing for future recovery of extraordinary costs; and special rate agreements between utilities and large industrial customers.

The following are examples of rate cases handled by our Energy Group:

  • 2014 Emera Distribution Rate Case - In 2014, Bill Harwood and Nora Healy represented Emera in a rate case, in which the MPUC approved an 8.68% increase in distribution rates. The case involved numerous intervenors, including the Public Advocate and a number of Emera Maine customers. Significant issues in the case involved depreciation rates, return on equity, extraordinary storm costs and vegetation management expenses and the allocation of certain costs between distribution and transmission. In a creative resolution, Emera Maine settled the distribution rate case and two pending stranded cost rate cases in a comprehensive, MPUC-approved stipulation.
  • 2012 Summit Natural Gas of Maine Rate Plan - In 2012 and 2013, Bill Harwood and Katie Gray provided counsel to Summit Natural Gas of Maine, Inc., Maine’s newest natural gas local distribution company, before the Maine Public Utilities Commission with regard to Summit’s alternative rate plan, ARP. The ten-year rate plan provides for annual rate adjustments during the course of the ARP, return-on-equity sharing provisions, the authority to enter into special rate agreements without prior Commission approval, recovery of natural gas conversion rebate costs, and a service line installation policy and metrics. The ARP was part of a larger proceeding in which Summit obtained the Commission’s unanimous approval to begin providing service in Maine despite the opposition of an existing Maine gas utility.
  • 2014 Emera Maine Stranded Cost Rate Case - Nora Healy represented Emera Maine in its 2014 stranded cost rate case for Emera’s Maine Public District. New stranded cost rates were expeditiously approved by the Maine Public Utilities Commission in less than three months, thereby delivering a stranded cost rate decrease to Maine Public District customers. Among other things, the case involved the flow through to ratepayers of settlement proceeds resulting from litigation involving spent nuclear fuel storage costs incurred by the Maine Yankee nuclear power plant.


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