National Grid will not reveal the amount of money they hope to charge customers in their proposed pipeline tariff. That information is a trade secret, and will not be revealed until after the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (RIPUC) decides on the proposal.
On Tuesday evening RIPUC heard public testimony against National Grid’s plan to charge customers for its efforts in building fracked gas pipelines and infrastructure in our state. National Grid also wants ratepayers to guarantee their profits for the venture as well. After the hearing I searched in vain through National Grid’s 572 page application for anything that would indicate how much this plan would cost. Finally I wrote Todd Bianco, principal policy associate at RIPUC for clarification.
“I do not believe there are any costs or rates in the filing that have not been redacted and marked as confidential. You should contact National Grid’s attorney or their spokesperson to confirm that,” said Bianco.
Following Bianco’s advice, I wrote to David Graves, National Grid’s Rhode Island Director of Strategic Communications.
“Portions of the filing are redacted because the document includes confidential information,” wrote Graves in an email, “which if revealed, would give competitors an unfair advantage in building their bids. The same procedure is in place in commodity rate setting. The information is shared with the regulators and is used in their assessment of our proposed rates, but the hard numbers in the estimates are not shared publicly until after the contract has been awarded.”
Graves did note that ratepayer impacts are discussed in the application starting on page 545. All the important numbers for determining actual impacts have been redacted.