Haverhill Ponders Timing of Energy Plan as National Grid Hikes Rates

Orlando Pacheco with Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini after Pacheco's 2014 hiring as city purchasing agent.

Orlando Pacheco with Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini after Pacheco’s 2014 hiring as city purchasing agent.

As early as next week, the city of Haverhill could clear the latest state hurdle toward lowering electricity rates for local residents and businesses.

Timing may be good as National Grid is warning residents to brace for substantial price hikes. According to Haverhill Energy Manager and City Purchasing Agent Orlando Pacheco, receipt of an order from the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilites (DPU) authorizing the city to move forward with its pooling or aggregation program is pending completion of a review

“It’s my understanding that the hearings officer, Miss Rubin, has already issued the order and it’s just in review stage. So I anticipate getting something within the next 10 to 14 days,” Pacheco said.

However, Pacheco told WHAV, given the latest market trends, Haverhill customers would be able to do better than the 13.1 cent per kilowatt hour winter supply rate announced by National Grid, but there may still be a wait for electric market prices to stabilize and not buy power during an upward trend.

“I think we want to see a little bit more stability,” Pacheco added. “And in that sense, if pricing does tend to creep up gradually, you may see the city pull back and wait for things to sort of settle down before it goes back out to market. We’re not just gonna go out and buy power to buy power. I think we want to make sure that our pricing strategy is very clear, that we’re looking not only for rate but we’re trying to hedge against some volatility.”

Pacheco said he would like city electric customers to receive a minimum 10 percent rate savings over National Grid in the first supply contract under aggregation. National Grid Tuesday filed its proposed winter electric supply rate with the DPU for its approval. As the case last year, the utility blamed “continued gas pipeline constraints” for prices “volatile and relatively high, though not as high as last winter.”

“The new electric supply prices will be in effect from November through April versus the current prices in place from May through October,” a National Grid spokesperson said. “The section of the electric bill where customers will see the difference is called Supply Services. This section of the bill represents the cost of the electricity the company purchases on behalf of customers and passes on without a markup. This winter’s price represents a 41 percent increase from the current residential electric supply price and a 19 percent decrease from last winter’s price.”


One thought on “Haverhill Ponders Timing of Energy Plan as National Grid Hikes Rates

  1. Funny, so many people complain about energy costs yet, when these energy companies want to improve and add to their infrastructure, they oppose it. Currently there is a proposal to add a natural gas pipeline to increase supply to the region, yet people are freaking out over it, not even understanding that anyone using gas in their home has their own little pipeline in their yard !