- National Grid has warned customers in Massachusetts that electricity rates will be going up this winter, with a typical customer paying 37% more than last year for the same amount of power consumed.
- Last week, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) approved a rate increase for National Grid that will raise household customersâ€™ bills by an average of $33. Large business customers will see even steeper increases.
- On the other hand, National Grid said natural gas customers would see a small decrease in their bills, mostly due to credits based on last yearâ€™s usage.
About half of New Englandâ€™s power is generated by natural gas and constrained pipelines mean ratepayers will feel the pinch this winter. Generators are turning to the gas spot market during peak times and â€œwith the chance of another cold winter on the way, National Grid is very concerned about what higher energy costs mean for our customers,â€ said Marcy Reed, president of National Grid in Massachusetts.
But itâ€™s not just National Grid. In Massachusetts, NStar is also looking closely at what it will cost to supply power, though the utility has yet to make a final rate filing. NStar recently announced its parent company, Northeast Utilities, would partner with Spectra Energy on a $3 billion gas project aimed at boosting regional access to supplies.
â€œThis is pretty bad, and itâ€™s going to really have a bearing on a lot of Massachusetts householdsâ€™ abilities to just make ends meet this winter,â€ John Howat, senior energy analyst at the National Consumer Law Center in Boston, told the Boston Globe.