An northeastern U.S. state’s Public Utilities Commission initiated a proceeding in 2020 to examine the gas planning processes of the state’s investor-owned natural gas local distribution companies (LDCs). This Commission was the second in the country to initiate a gas planning proceeding. The proceeding was initiated after the enactment of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) that set statewide targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Although the CLCPA did not establish targets for the natural gas sector or individual utilities, it was clear that LDCs would be required to contribute significantly to achieving the statewide targets. The Commission was also responding to the recent need for downstate LDCs to issue moratoria on new customer connections to address winter-period supply-demand imbalances.
Nine utilities participated in this proceeding as a single party (the “Joint LDCs”). Concentric was retained to lead a collaborative effort that included preparing two sets of comments that addressed gas planning and policies to address the potential for future moratoria. Several other stakeholders, including leading national environmental organizations, participated actively in the proceeding.
Concentric was retained based on its experience leading collaborative efforts among the utilities combined with subject matter expertise in gas planning and regulation. The Commission issued orders addressing gas planning and moratoria processes on May 12, 2022. Each of the LDCs was directed to prepare a Long-Term Plan (LTP) to be filed on a staggered basis between December 2022 and May 2024.
This initial policy engagement, and modeling competencies, have contributed to Concentric being retained to assist several LDCs with preparing their initial LTP filings.