|Chair, Commissioner of State Department of Public Utilities Named|
|12:37PM / Sunday, March 19, 2023|
BOSTON — Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca L. Tepper appointed Jamie Van Nostrand to be Chair of the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) and Staci Rubin to Commissioner.
Cecile Fraser will continue her tenure as Commissioner in the Healey-Driscoll Administration. These appointments will be charged with carrying out the directive of creating a "21st Century DPU."
"For the past eight years, our team in the Attorney General's Office, including Secretary Tepper and Chief Hoffer, served as the ratepayer advocate by standing up for Massachusetts residents struggling to pay their utility bills," said Governor Healey. "We know how critical it is that the DPU leadership understands that the transition to a clean energy economy is a pocketbook issue and will be thoughtful in how we evolve our grid and economy for the future. I have full faith in Jamie Van Nostrand, Staci Rubin, and Cecile Fraser to uphold those values."
The Healey-Driscoll Administration is committed to transforming the DPU. The commissioners will be encouraged to evaluate structural and cultural changes to advance the following goals:
Operate as a partner in achieving climate goals, including through facilitating rapid renewable energy growth, building a modern grid, and promoting resiliency.
Open its doors to the public through modernized communications tools and meaningful community engagement in its proceedings.
Integrate equity into its decision-making and respond to concerns from environmental justice populations and low-income ratepayers.
Build agency expertise to ensure DPU independence and meet its mission, which includes prioritizing affordability, consumer protection, emissions reductions, transportation safety, and more.
"With Jamie, Staci, and Cecile at the helm, the next era of the Department of Utilities will be marked by a commitment to transparency, equity, and innovation," said Secretary Tepper. "Our goal is to build a 21st century DPU rooted in these values. Jamie is a longtime advocate for the clean energy resources and will help lead the Commonwealth's transition at this pivotal time. Staci has been at the forefront of the environmental justice movement in Massachusetts. And Cecile brings extensive institutional knowledge and a strong understanding of the importance of consumer protections."
The DPU Commission consists of three members, of whom two are appointed for a term coterminous with the Governor and one for a term of four years. One commissioner is designated as chair for a term of two years.
"I am honored and excited to be joining the Healey-Driscoll Administration at such a pivotal time in the clean energy transition," said Van Nostrand. "I look forward to working with Secretary Tepper and the other energy and environmental agencies to meet Governor Healey's clean energy objectives, while maintaining affordable energy and designing clean energy programs that benefit all communities."
Cecile Fraser was first appointed as a Commissioner to the Department of Public Utilities in June of 2017. In January 2023, she was appointed Acting Chair. She will remain Acting Chair until Van Nostrand starts on May 1. Following the transition, Fraser will continue as Commissioner in the Healey-Driscoll Administration. Rubin starts on April 10. Current DPU Commissioner Robert Hayden will step down on April 8.
"I'm pleased to continue serving the people of Massachusetts as commissioner under the Healey-Driscoll Administration," said Commissioner Fraser. "I'm looking forward to collaborating with Jamie and Staci as we look to the future of the DPU, and institute new and innovative practices to ensure energy affordability, expand community engagement, and meet our critical climate goals."
"It's a tremendous honor to return to the DPU and serve an administration that is committed to equity and reducing climate-damaging emissions," added Rubin. "For many years, I've advocated for a more inclusive, transparent DPU that considers climate justice and I'm grateful for the opportunity to bring that vision to life. Together, we will work to ensure that environmental justice populations have seats at the table in shaping our clean energy future."