Avangrid : Report claims Connecticut natural gas utilities manipulated pipeline capacity to drive up prices
The 74-page report estimates the alleged actions of
Officials with both companies strongly denied the claims made by the
A majority of
The report contends the two companies' natural gas subsidiaries manipulated capacity by scheduling more natural gas deliveries than they actually needed on any given day. The reports authors allege that the natural gas utilities would then cancel some of the capacity requests later in the same day so that the space could no longer be resold.
"This behavior blocks other firms from utilizing pipeline capacity, which artificially limits gas supply to the region and drives up gas and electricity prices," the report says in part. "While the studied behavior may have been within the firms' contractual rights, the significant impacts in both the gas and electricity markets underscore the need to improve regulation and coordination as these two energy markets become increasingly interlinked."
But Gross said, "The underlying concept is not only false and misleading, but concerningly irresponsible as it lacks any understanding of how gas procurement actually works."
"It appears to be fabricated by anti-pipeline proponents who are trying to make the case that pipeline shortages in
Gross said the pipeline capacity Eversource procures "is dedicated to serving our customers under state and federal regulations -- with no ability to withhold what is being fully utilized to serve those customers and to ensure reliable service on the coldest days, as the report claims."
"Our gas distribution business is carefully regulated and the gas supply we purchase for our customers is a strict pass through cost -- meaning we don't benefit from higher prices derived from withholding," he said. "Again, this is well understood in the industry and is further evidence that the report is not credible. Eversource revenue related to the regulated electric generation facilities we own and operate in
"We reserve pipeline capacity to help protect customers from interruptions -- including during unpredictable, extreme weather conditions," West said. "In
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