Preempt for smart grid price increases?

Posted: November 17, 2014 in Uncategorized
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On September 23 the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approved severe increases in electricity billing rates, which the National Grid company had requested only one week before. From November 1 through April 30, basic service rates for home use will nearly double, from 8.3 cents per kilowatt hour to 16.2 cents.

The new rate will add approximately $30 to the average monthly bill this winter and is more than 60 percent higher than last year’s winter rate. Small commercial and industrial users will also suffer large increases, with their basic service rate increasing to 15.138 cents/kWh on November 1.

The rate increase was railroaded through DPU’s approval process. National Grid submitted its “request” on September 16 and demanded a response within five business days. The DPU caved in so cravenly that on October 2 the state Attorney General’s office sent it a letter quoting a 2001 DPU ruling “that rate structure changes should be made in a predictable and gradual manner which allows consumers reasonable time to adjust their consumption patterns.” The AG’s office, however, is unable to request any changes to the current rate hikes except for deferring some of them to next summer.


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