Nat. Grid to raise distribution rates

Posted: November 13, 2015 in Uncategorized
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National Grid is proposing a two-step process for raising its distribution rates. In the fall of 2016, the company is proposing to raise the monthly charge for residential customers to $5.50 plus a single rate of 5.5 cents a kilowatt hour for electricity usage, which works out to a total monthly charge of $33 for the typical customer, an increase of $7.50 over the current rate.

In early 2017, the company wants to start charging 4.2 cents a kilowatt hour and a tiered monthly customer charge based on usage — $6 for those using less than 250 kilowatt hours a month, $9 for those using between 251 and 600 kilowatt hours, $15 for those using 601 to 1,200 kilowatt hours, and $20 for those using more than 1,200 kilowatt hours. For the customer using 500 kilowatt hours, the tiered rate structure would yield a charge of $30.

Company officials said the rate changes proposed for 2017 would bring in the same total amount of money as those proposed for 2016, but a greater percentage of the money with the 2017 changes would come from fixed fees.

Electricity supply costs have been volatile the last two years, while distribution charges have not increased since 2009 at National Grid. Company officials said National Grid’s overall distribution charges need to rise $143 million, or nearly 22 percent, to cover higher costs the company is facing today. Marcy Reed, president of National Grid Massachusetts, said the company’s property taxes have doubled to $58 million over the last six years, while the cost of utility poles and transformers has increased 9 and 20 percent, respectively. She said labor and other costs have also increased.

[ed. note] Of course the 44 million they spent on the Worcester pilot isn’t mentioned in a cost they must pass on to us, the customer. And why would they go ahead with the smart meter which is supposed to alert folks to how much electricity they are using. They will find out soon enough anyway with this tiered pricing and get incentive to cut their usage if possible!

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