Berkshire Gas seeks to bill customers for costs associated with any state pipeline appeal


BOSTON — The Berkshire Gas Co. has asked the state's Department of Public Utilities to allow the company to pass on to its customers costs connected to any appeal by Attorney General Maura Healey of the 20-year agreement with Tennessee Gas for additional supplies if its pipeline project is approved and built.

In a legal notice published by The Eagle and other newspapers in its service area, Berkshire Gas noted the DPU's approval of the Tennessee Gas project and urged the agency to allow it to recoup from customers possible spending of up to $150,000 by the state attorney general's office to pay experts and consultants in her potential investigation of Berkshire Gas filings.

The DPU invited public comment on the attorney general's intention to hire experts and consultants by writing to the department no later than 5 p.m. Jan. 12 at its office, One South Station, 5th floor, Boston MA 02110.

The state agency will hold a public hearing to receive comments about the Berkshire Gas plans at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14, at its office.

Berkshire Gas, which was recently acquired by a newly created subsidiary of the Spanish energy giant Iberdrola, is barred as part of that deal from raising rates until June 2018.

The Spanish company paid $3 billion to purchase UIL Holdings Corp., the parent company of Berkshire Gas and several other regional energy firms. Under the deal that closed on Dec. 16, the combined company operates under the name Avangrid Inc. and trades on the New York Stock Exchange.

As part of regulators' approval of the merger agreement, Healey and the state's energy office negotiated $4 million in bill credits for Berkshire Gas customers.

Berkshire Gas is an $80 million investor in the Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline project. Tennessee Gas is a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan.


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