National Grid Says Local Gas, Electric Rates to Drop in May

Proposed summer rates for National Grid electric and gas customers could save consumers between 25 and 30 percent on their overall bills beginning May 1.

National Grid said it is seeking approval from state regulators to cut the electricity basic service charge, found in the supply services portion of the bill, from the current rate of more than 16 cents per kWh to just above 9 cents per kWh, a decrease of more than 40 percent.Residential customers using 500 kWh per month would see a decrease of 26 percent, or about $32, on their overall electricity bill, according to the company. Last November, electric supply charges increased about 37 percent due to the use of natural gas to fuel power plants during the winter heating season.

“While customers will see a significant decrease in the overall bill this season, basic service prices are, year on year, slightly higher when comparing May, 2014, with May, 2015. This is due to higher wholesale electric prices in New England brought on by natural gas interstate pipeline constraints impacting the region,” a National Grid spokesperson said. The “constraints” are a veiled reference to investor demands more gas pipelines be approved in the region even though the company provided no documentation of any natural gas shortages this winter.

The announcement comes as the city of Haverhill seeks to bring lower electric rates to local residents through pooling, or aggregation, to negotiate rates with competing electricity suppliers. If approved the state Department of Public Utilities, a supply contract by the city would not be expected to benefit local consumers until next November’s winter rates from National Grid go into effect.

Meanwhile, according to the company, natural gas customers through Boston Gas and using 28 therms per month can expect to see a decrease of approximately 30 percent, or about $12 less, versus today’s bill. A typical Colonial Gas customer using 26 therms can expect a decrease of approximately 25 percent, or about $9. WHAV is seeking clarification about whether former Essex County Gas Co. customers are charged the Boston Gas or Colonial Gas rate. All of the utilities were consolidated about 15 years ago.

“Compared with the natural gas bills last spring, a typical customer using between 26 and 28 therms of natural gas per month will see a decrease of about 19 percent, or $7, for the same amount of gas,” a spokesperson said. “The decrease is driven by a reduction in the commodity cost of natural gas.”

“New England has been dealing with pipeline infrastructure constraints, which limit the amount of natural gas available for electricity generation,” a spokesperson said. “At the same time, there is a need for cleaner and more reliable energy. A three-part strategy of advancing renewables, increasing energy efficiency, and increasing gas transmission and pipeline capacity is the company’s solution to helping solve this unprecedented challenge.”

3 thoughts on “National Grid Says Local Gas, Electric Rates to Drop in May

  1. Thank you MR Ramjet…. More dirty doings in Massachusetts??? No that can’t be. Why don’t I know someone who can get me 120K for just 2 years…

  2. I suggest elimination of the MA. DEPT OF ENERGY WHO IS SUPPOSED to be a rate watchdog. Instead tey hire former GRID EMPLOYEES TO $100k jobs to join the DOER millionaires club. All while $120k deputy ‘telecommutes” from her real estate job in new hampshire

  3. Here is my opinion. Our State Government, PUC, etc allowed the increase in rates just for the winter months.

    Why not gag, blindfold the entire Commonwealth while they steal your wallet. Absolutely nothing but state sanctioned theft.