National Grid proposes 16% increase in electricity rates for winter season

NATIONAL GRID RHODE ISLAND has proposed winter electricity rates that would increase customers' bills by an average of 16% over summer rates. / PBN FILE PHOTO/ MARK S. MURPHY

PROVIDENCE – National Grid Rhode Island customers would see their electricity bills rise by 16% on average this winter over current summer rates and 2.2% from last year’s winter rates, according to a proposal submitted to the R.I Public Utilities Commission, the company announced on Thursday.

For an average residential customer who uses 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month, the proposed rate increase represents a $16.94 monthly increase over summer rates, and is $2.67 higher than monthly rates last winter, National Grid said. Commercial and industrial customers would see bills increase between 12% and 22% over summer rates, depending on usage, the company said.

Winter rates, which must be approved by the PUC, start Oct. 1 and run through March 31, 2022, except for industrial customers, for whom rate changes run through Dec. 31 of this year.

The current residential summer rates are among the lowest in the state in recent history, National Grid said. Rates typically rise in the winter and fall again in the summer, based on seasonal market conditions including constraints on available regional gas supplies.

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“While the upcoming winter electric supply rates are similar to what we’ve seen the past few years, we know that the higher cost of energy during these colder months can be an additional worry for our customers,” stated Terry Sobolewski, president of National Grid Rhode Island.  “As Rhode Island begins to climb out of the pandemic, we want both our residential and business customers to be prepared for the months ahead. They should take advantage of the many bill assistance programs available to them and lean into the energy efficiency options that can help decrease their energy costs. For those residential customers still struggling to pay their bills due to the pandemic, we also encourage them to explore some of the valuable pandemic related assistance programs, such as Rent Relief RI, which can be used to help pay your utility bill.”

Nancy Lavin is a PBN staff writer. You may reach her at Lavin@PBN.com.

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