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    Electricity, gas rates going up in Mass., companies say


    September 30, 2022 - Seth Jacobson

     

      Electric and gas bills will be going up this winter, according to energy companies in the state.

      "In total, the monthly bill of a typical residential electric customer using 600 kWh (kilowatt-hours) will increase from $179 in the winter 2021-2022 season, to approximately $293 for the winter 2022-2023 season," National Grid stated.

      That's a 64% jump. The rate increase will take place in November.

      "With energy costs rising due to global conflict, inflationary pressures, and high demand as the winter heating season approaches, National Grid understands the impact this increased financial burden can have on our customers and communities, especially when we are all experiencing increased costs for other goods and services," the company stated. "National Grid buys energy on behalf of our customers from the wholesale market and passes through those costs without any markup or profit, so customers pay what National Grid pays for that energy."

      Energysage.com explained on average, electricity users in Massachusetts spend about $282 per month on electricity. That adds up to $3,384 per year.

      "That's 22% higher than the national average electric bill of $2,780," according to Energysage.com. "The average electric rates in Massachusetts cost 26 ¢/kilowatt-hour (kWh), so that means that the average electricity customer in Massachusetts is using 1,080 kWh of electricity per month, and 12,960 kWh over the course of the year."

      Energysage.com added over the next 25 years, "customers should expect to pay $109,700 on electric bills in Massachusetts."

      Eversource rates will go up as well this season.

      "The company seeks to increase its rates to generate $89,477,862 in additional revenues," according to a statement. "The company proposes to transfer costs recovered through certain reconciling mechanisms, which totaled $58,184,827 in calendar year 2020, to base distribution rates, effective Dec. 1, 2022. Based on this proposal, the proposed overall increase to distribution revenues is $147,662,689, which represents a 13.2% increase in distribution revenue."

      WCVB reports that the average Boston Gas residential heating bill will increase $50 or 22% and the average Colonial Gas residential heating customer will see an increase of $47 or 24%, compared to rates last year.

      "Eversource said its proposed natural gas rates, scheduled to take effect on Nov. 1, would increase prices by about 38% or $86 for customers in the former NSTAR Gas service area and 25% or $61 for those in the former Columbia Gas territory," WCVB stated.

      National Grid stated, "There are a number of variables that can cause your energy bill to fluctuate each month. Changes in the season can have an impact on the amount of electricity and gas you use. Another factor could be the operation of your equipment."

      Some people in Massachusetts have chosen to use solar energy, which is cheaper than current options.

      "Assuming an 2.1% annual increase in electricity prices and that you install your system with a $0-down loan, you can expect to save $3,400 in your first year, $17,600 over five years, $37,200 over 10 years, and $82,900 over 20 years on electric bills in Massachusetts," Energysage.com states, regarding solar energy systems.

      The state also has programs where customers can get help in paying their energy bills via the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

      "The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program application is free. No fee is required to apply, and free help is available to complete applications," Mass.gov stated. "If eligible, discounts are automatically given on electric bills for investor owned electric utilities; gas bills for investor-owned gas utilities; and telephone bills."

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