With prices for natural gas, which drive electricity costs, significantly higher this winter due to global conflict, inflation and high demand, electricity rates for National Grid customers that take Basic Service will increase starting November 1st.
In total, the monthly bill of a typical residential electric customer using 600 kWh will increase from $179 in the winter 2021-2022 season, to approximately $293 for the winter 2022-2023 season, or a 64 percent increase, driven by higher electric supply prices. National Grid moves from summer to winter rates November 1st of each year, per their regulatory schedule. Winter rates are traditionally higher than summer rates, due to the high demand for natural gas.
“National Grid buys electricity on behalf of its customers from the wholesale power market through a regulatory approved process established 20 years ago. That process has served customers well over the years and provides flexibility for unforeseen events, like limited supplier response to solicitations. But things have fundamentally changed,” said Burt. “Today, under a sustained, high market price environment, it is challenging to maintain affordable prices. Given that, we think it’s a good time to work with our regulators and other stakeholders to review the process and electricity supply dynamics in the region, with an eye toward reducing price volatility and maintaining a secure, reliable and resilient energy system for the future.”
As with electricity, National Grid adjusts its natural gas rates November 1st and May 1st to reflect seasonal differences in the cost of natural gas. Similar to electric, National Grid says that they do not profit from gas supply costs; instead, customers pay what they pay for natural gas supply. The company has a pending proposal with the Department of Public Utilities that would result in a monthly bill for an average Boston Gas residential heating customer using 115 therms per month of $278, an increase of $50, or 22 percent, compared to rates last winter. For an average Colonial Gas residential heating customer using 107 therms per month, the typical bill would be $241, an increase of $47, or 24 percent, compared to rates last winter.
National Grid is reaching out to customers to inform them of the Winter Customer Savings Initiative using multiple communications channels and through in-person Customer Energy Savings events being held across Massachusetts.