The Commonwealth’s climate goals include reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In support of this target, the Department of Public Utilities in 2020 opened an investigation into the changing role of local gas distribution companies in the coming decades. The DPU ordered gas companies, including Eversource and National Grid, to select an independent consultant to produce a report on decarbonization strategies and the regulatory changes needed to support these strategies. In addition, each gas company was to submit an individual proposal with recommendations and plans for helping the state achieve its 2050 climate goals. The companies were ordered to seek stakeholder input on the contents of the Report and proposals, and interested organizations and members of the public were invited to attend regular meetings hosted by the independent consultant over the past year.
On March 18, the consultant and gas companies submitted their final Report and proposals. These are available to view at thefutureofgas.com or on the DPU website (docket number 20-80). Municipalities with an interest in the state’s climate goals or with concerns about how the transition from natural gas will impact them and their residents may be interested in providing comments or attending a public hearing on the Report and proposals. The DPU will conduct public hearings via Zoom on May 3 at 7:00 p.m. and May 5 at 2:00 p.m. Written comments may be submitted to the DPU until the close of business on May 6. Further information, including Zoom links and instructions for providing comments during the hearing, is available by viewing the DPU 20-80 docket.