Regulators approve winter rate hikes for NatGrid

WARWICK – State utility regulators on Aug. 27 voted to approve higher winter electricity rates, beginning in October, but this time the increases will last all year.

National Grid Rhode Island requested the new rates to help the company pay for higher winter energy purchasing costs. The company had suggested steeper increases lasting only six months or an alternative 12-month plan to spread out the costs to ratepayers.

Instead, the three-member Public Utilities Commission opted for a compromise, having ratepayers pay most of the increases in the first six months, then pay lower increases for the remaining six months through September 2019.

As a result, most homes and small businesses will see double-digit increases, often about 13 percent, in their monthly electricity charges from October through March, then most will see single-digit increases, often less than 5 percent, from April through September.

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