About one year ago, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities or DPU opened an investigation (D.P.U. 20-80) to examine the appropriate role of gas LDCs in helping to meet the Commonwealth’s 2050 climate goals. The proceeding sought to identify and evaluate strategies to move to net-zero GHG while simultaneously protecting ratepayer interests. The potential to “recast” the role of the LDCs was a principal part of the focus.
Consultants were retained by the LDCs and an extensive stakeholder process has been completed. A material step in the process was to identify and then evaluate the merits of what turned out to be eight “pathways” that each reflected changing roles for LDCs. A two-volume report – Independent Consultant Report Vol. I and Vol. II – has been released in draft, is being finalized and will ultimately be reviewed by the DPU. It is clear that the role of the LDCs will evolve substantially. These “pathways” reflected various ranges of “electrification” and differing roles