National Grid customers in Massachusetts could see electricity rate hike

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI/AP) — National Grid is asking state regulators for an electricity rate hike of more 20 percent for most Massachusetts residential customers that would drive up bills this winter, but keep them lower than last winter.

The utility, with nearly 1.3 million customers in Massachusetts, says if approved by the state Department of Public Utilities, the typical residential customer would see their bill jump to about $110 a month this winter, up from the current $90. Last winter’s typical monthly bill was more than $121.

National Grid said “Due to continued gas pipeline constraints, the electric supply prices remain volatile and relatively high, though not as high as last winter.”

If approved, the new rates would take effect in November and run through April.

The increase would not affect customers in Rhode Island, as the state is on a different rate calendar, according to National Grid spokesperson David Graves. Rates change every six months in both states: in Rhode Island the dates are January 1 and July 1, whereas in Massachusetts the dates are November 1 and May 1.

Graves said it’s unknown if Rhode Island will see any changes come January.

“Right now those numbers are being calculated, and we don’t have a real clear picture right now what were going to be asking the Public Utilities Commission to approve,” he explained.

Graves said National Grid makes no money off the rate increases. The company only makes profit off deliveries, and they said those prices have remained the same for several years.

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