SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – With prices going up for just about everything, National Grid is doing something different. They’ve actually dropped electricity rates for customers. With this announcement, we wanted to know if other power companies would be decreasing their bills as well.
We spoke with an Eversource spokesperson, who said comparing power company rates, at this time, is like comparing apples to oranges.
Many National Grid customers could experience some relief in their upcoming electricity bills. The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities has approved the company’s recent rate proposal for the summer months. This means the average bill for a customer will be reduced by about 9.4 percent, or $16.61, from $176.76 to $160.15.
It’s exciting news for National Grid customers, but we wanted to know why. A spokesperson sent Western Mass News a statement that said:
“Per state regulations, National Grid’s basic service electric supply rates change twice a year, once on November 1, and again on May 1. Across New England, wholesale electric prices tend to drop when temperatures rise and demand eases for natural gas, a key fuel for both heating and electric generation in the region.”
So, we wanted to know does that mean Eversource, the power company that services the other half of western Massachusetts, will have lower rates too? The answer is maybe.
“Historically, the rate goes down in the summertime. That’s in New England because there is less of a demand for that natural gas, which goes first when we are heating our homes. That’s what drives up the price of natural gas. That goes down because there is more natural gas supply. Natural gas is what we make electricity with, which is why rates will usually be coming down in the summertime,” said Eversource spokesperson Priscilla Ress.
Eversource is currently shopping the market for the lowest rate and will then present that rate to the DPU. The DPU then makes sure that’s the lowest rate Eversource could find and approves it.
We’re told National Grid and Eversource are on a different schedule. National Grid changes their rates every six months, once in May and once in November. Eversource changes theirs in July and January.
“The timing is different, which means when you’re actually going into the market to buy that electricity, it’s different timing,” Ress noted.
Ress compares it to buying a car.
“It’s like you and I go and buy the same make and model of a car. You buy yours in January and I buy mine in July and we may be actually paying a different price for that same vehicle,” Ress explained.
So if you’re a National grid customer, you will see changes in your bill starting May 1 and if you’re an Eversource customer, you’ll see a change, if any, starting July 1.
Now if you are worried about your electric bill, Ress said to take advantage of any energy saving programs your provider offers and the best way to lower your bill is to be mindful of how much power you’re using.
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