- 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 customers' 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 year's usage.
About half of New England'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 "with the chance of another cold winter on the way, National Grid is very concerned about what higher energy costs mean for our customers,” said Marcy Reed, president of National Grid in Massachusetts.
But it'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.
“This is pretty bad, and it’s going to really have a bearing on a lot of Massachusetts households’ abilities to just make ends meet this winter,” John Howat, senior energy analyst at the National Consumer Law Center in Boston, told the Boston Globe.