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The COVID-19 public health crisis brought into sharp relief the importance of shifting benefits to more vulnerable communities, participants said at a Monday panel during the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Summer Policy Summit.
Responses range from energy efficiency targets and community solar offerings to a direct cost-shift for programs that will save customers money. During COVID-19, National Grid customers no longer paid 25% of the cost, as the utility assumed responsibility for the customers’ share of the expenses, according to Raquel Webster, the utility’s senior counsel.
Equity considerations are increasingly part of utility discussions as moratoriums on service shutoff are set to end and companies consider how to support their customers while recovering costs.