We’ve filed winter electricity supply rates in Massachusetts
We’re in a stretch of beautiful, warm weather, so it seems out of place to be talking about winter rates. But that’s exactly what you’re likely to be hearing about in the next few days, as we spread the word about what our customers can expect for winter electricity prices starting Nov. 1.
Here’s what you need to know, and what I’m asking for your help communicating to your friends and family as they notice changes on their bills in a couple of months:
- We recently purchased electricity from generators on behalf of our customers for the upcoming winter season. Because of continued gas pipeline constraints (I describe them as the congested “highways” that get gas into the region) – electricity prices remain volatile, though not as high as last winter. We filed these rates today with the Department of Public Utilities.
- If the DPU approves our filing, our electricity supply rates from November through April will be higher than the summer rates, but lower than last winter’s rates. This change will show up on the “supply services” section of customers’ bills; this is the electricity we buy on behalf of customers and pass on without a markup. If we pay a dollar, our customers pay a dollar. A typical residential customer using 500 kWH a month will see an electric bill that is roughly 21 percent higher than current summer bills, but 9 percent lower than last winter’s bills. In dollars the average residential customer’s monthly bill will be $110, compared with an average spring bill of $91, or an average November 2014 bill of $121.
- In addition to the upcoming changes in supply prices, we’re preparing a proposal to update our electricity distribution rates later this year. This filing with the DPU will allow our rates to be in line with the money we’re spending to make necessary investments in our system. Current distribution rates are based on the 2008 cost of doing business and became effective on January 1, 2010. The proposal will undergo a thorough review process and any changes to distribution rates would likely not take effect until late 2016.
- We’re committed to helping our customers with their bills, through energy efficiency, billing options and encouraging them to consider alternate suppliers. Customers can learn more about energy savings tips and incentives, and billing plans, at www.ngrid.com/billhelp. And, we encourage customers to consider all available energy supply options at www.ngrid.com/masschoice. These companies are legit: just read the fine print. As a reminder, we don’t produce the electricity: we deliver it and maintain the equipment that keeps it flowing. So, regardless of your chosen supplier, National Grid will continue to deliver reliable energy, respond to service and emergency needs and provide storm restoration services.
- Though we don’t control supply costs, it’s our name at the top of the bill, and our customers who are affected by prices. It’s our responsibility to work toward a solution, and we’re doing that strategically. We continue to advocate for a balanced portfolio of energy resources, including renewables, increased natural gas capacity and enhanced energy efficiency programs, as the key to securing New England’s long-term energy future and providing our customers with the stability they need.