Following 53% rate hike, Cicilline urges National Grid to use tiered system

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Congressman David Cicilline is urging National Grid to take steps to help low-income people amid the utility’s request for a 53 percent electricity rate hike.

Cicilline sent a letter to Timothy Horan, president of National Grid in Rhode Island this week, saying the increase will pose a significant hardship for many Rhode Islanders. He says bills would increase by an average $205.56 per year.

Cicilline suggests the utility use a tiered system for people having trouble paying, which would be based on a percentage of income. He says the policy is used in other states and was once used by National Grid.

National Grid has blamed the proposed increase on high prices in the regional energy market.

The hike must be approved by the Public Utilities Commission.