Effective November 1, 2014, electricity rates for National Grid’s Massachusetts customers are 37 percent higher than last winter and almost 50 percent higher than in October. According to National Grid, two-thirds of the cost is from the purchase of electricity from power plants, which is up from just over half of the bill cost last winter. National Grid is also the dominant utility in Rhode Island serving 486,000 customers there. Connecticut Light & Power requested a 26 percent increase for residential customers starting next year. Although shale gas from the Marcellus formation is plentiful and inexpensive, getting it to New England from Pennsylvania is a huge challenge. Energy experts have warned New England that it would pay a price for using more natural gas for heating and electric power generation without making investments in expanding natural gas pipelines. More stringent environmental regulations and low natural gas prices have combined to entice many electricity generators in New England to retire aging coal- and oil-fired plants for natural gas-fired plants, which now generate over half of the region’s electricity mix, an increase from less than 15 percent in 2000. A typical residential basic service customer using 500 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month will see an increase of 37 percent, or about $33, on monthly bills this winter (from November to April) versus the same period last winter.
National Grid does not generate electricity and plays no role in determining market prices; the company delivers electricity to the homes and businesses of customers.
Starting in November, a typical residential natural gas customer will see a decrease in monthly bills of between $2 and $5 (one to three percent).
Billing options and discount rates also are available to help eligible customers who may have difficulty paying their monthly gas or electric bill.
In the northeast US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles.
National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island.
Sign up for our newsletter!Please sign up for our weekly email newsletter, and received highlights of best news reports, interviews and columns from the week. BOSTON (AP) — National Grid is asking state regulators for an electricity rate hike of more 20 percent for most Massachusetts residential customers that would drive up bills this winter, but keep them lower than last winter. The utility, with nearly 1.3 million customers in Massachusetts, says if approved by the state Department of Public Utilities, the typical residential customer would see their bill jump to about $110 a month this winter, up from the current $90.
Over the past decade, coal-and oil-fired power plants in New England have closed and now the region is dependent on natural gas for generation and has limited infrastructure to get the gas to markets.
Supply costs are the costs that the electric utility pays for the generation that it purchases, which reflects only about half of consumers’ bills. National Grid has requested a 23.6 percent rate increase over last winter’s rates in Rhode Island. The six New England states are supplied by only two major pipelines and both are at full capacity.
Kinder Morgan, for example, is facing environmentalist opposition to constructing a new 177-mile pipeline across the northern side of Massachusetts, with a cost of about $3 billion.
The situation will only get worse as New England is in the process of shuttering more coal-fired units and the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

8, 2014 – National Grid recently filed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to adjust electric and gas rates for the winter.
The section of electric bills where customers will see the majority of the difference is called Supply Services.
With about half of New England’s electricity generation now fueled by natural gas, electric commodity prices have risen again this winter because of continued constraints on the natural gas pipelines serving the region, which decrease natural gas availability at times of peak demand, causing some generators to buy gas on the spot market at higher prices, switch over to alternate fuels or not run at all. The majority of this decrease is due to a credit National Grid is passing on to customers through reduced delivery charges. National Grid has a three decade history of helping New England customers realize energy savings through energy efficiency programs.
National Grid offers programs to help customers spread payments out more evenly across the year, which are particularly helpful to those on fixed incomes.
The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society – to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century.
In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country. In Massachusetts, the two largest electric utilities have requested rate increases from state officials. The other half is the cost of delivering the power to their homes and that part of the bill is not changing. By comparison, the average electricity rate in the United States is 46 percent cheaper than the National Grid’s rate at only 13.01 cents per kilowatt-hour.
The monthly increase for a household that uses 500 kilowatt hours of power is expected to be $21, increasing the monthly bill from $88 to $109. The generation rates or supply costs pay for the production of electricity at power plants and make up about half of household monthly bills.
This limited infrastructure in an area with growing natural gas demand has increased the price of electricity in the winter when natural gas is also used for heating.
Northeast Utilities and Sempra Energy have proposed a $3 billion plan to upgrade the capacity of existing pipelines that transverse Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, serving dozens of gas-fired electric generators. The lack of a diversified fuel mix for electricity generation along with insufficient pipeline capacity to move the natural gas to markets has caused the electric rate increases as the New England energy markets compete for the available natural gas. The company’s electric customers will see a significant increase in their bills due to higher power supply prices (the cost of the electricity National Grid buys for customers and passes on without a mark up). This section of the bill represents the cost of the electricity the company purchases on behalf of customers and passes on without a mark up.
This credit is driven by last winter’s colder-than-normal weather, when National Grid customers used more gas than forecasted. The company encourages customers to learn about energy efficiency, savings tips and much more by clicking here. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it ‘joins everything up’.
National Grid received approval for a 37 percent rate increase over last winter’s rates, effective November 1, 2014, and NStar has requested a 29 percent increase, effective January 1, 2015.

This is the highest level that NStar’s one million customers in metropolitan Boston and Cape Cod have paid for supply costs since 1998, when Massachusetts overhauled its electricity market. The monthly bill for a typical National Grid customer will be slightly more than $150[3]–a monthly increase of $33 for a homeowner or business using 500 kilowatt-hours of power.
The transmission and distribution rates are also under regulatory review and are expected to increase early next year as well. Starting in November, a typical residential customer will see an electric bill that is 37 percent higher than last winter for the same amount of electricity used. As a pipes-and-wires company, National Grid does not make more money when customers use more gas or electricity, so when customers consume more than forecasted, the company refunds that excess the next year. Lowering a thermostat between six and nine degrees when sleeping, for example, can save up to 10 percent per year on heating costs.
For more information about the availability of these rates, customers should contact National Grid at 800-322-3223. Why pay more when you can use Better Cost Control?Better Cost Control, 2274 Washington Street, Newton, MA 02462 MPLS, Sd-WAN, WAN Acceleration, WAN Infrastructure Consulting . In Rhode Island, about half of a customer’s electric bill is for the supply cost of power and the other half is for delivery — transition, transmission and distribution charges — and fees for renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The increase in generation prices will result in higher monthly bills of more than $18 for a typical customer who uses 700 kilowatt hours. Gas rates will be one to three percent lower than last year, but using more natural gas for home heating as the weather cools down means that gas bills will rise for most customers as they do every winter.
Natural gas is also transported via interstate pipelines into New England and can be liquefied or stored in preparation for the winter heating season, making prices less volatile.
National Grid also offers incentives that cover a wide variety of energy efficient home equipment including programmable thermostats and high-efficiency natural gas heating furnaces or boilers, which could mean savings of up to 30 percent off energy bills. Local initiatives, such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), community action agencies and the state department of social services can also help customers who need help with their bills.
These high winter electricity prices are likely to continue in New England until new pipelines are built, which could be three to four more years, as heating markets compete with electric generators for limited natural gas supplies.[1] Unfortunately for consumers, cold weather has already arrived in many parts of the United States[2], including New England. Electricity, on the other hand, cannot be stored on a large scale and must be generated as it is needed. Another option for customers is to choose an alternative energy supplier to purchase power supply on their behalf.
Public Utilities Commission approves the proposal, the new rates will go into effect January 1, 2015, and remain in place until June 30.

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