National Grid power rates could fall along with natural gas prices

Boston Massachusetts Commercial Energy Deregulation News

“Typical National Grid residential electricity customers could see their monthly bill decline by about $7.74 starting May 1, if the state approves new rates submitted this week.

Typical customers will see their bills fall 10.4 percent from $74.21 to $66.47, according to a National Grid statement issued Wednesday afternoon. The new rates would be in effect through October with the approval of the state Department of Public Utilities.

National Grid defines an average household customer as someone who uses 500 kilowatt hours of electricity a month.

The state Department of Public Utilities still has to rule on the proposed rate changes, however.

The cost of electricity makes up approximately 50 percent of a residential customer’s bill. The remainder covers the costs incurred to deliver the electricity to the customer.

On March 1, with Department of Public Utilities approval, National Grid raised its transmission charges by 60 cents for residential customers in Massachusetts, said National Grid Spokesman David D. Graves. That rate increase will likely be in place for a year, he said.

The cost of electricity is falling with the price of natural gas used to generate most of the power used in the region, Graves said. A mild winter has left natural gas storage facilities filled to capacity, especially in the Northeast, he said.

“It’s really market forces that are at work,” he said.

Last week National Grid asked the Department of Public Utilities to reduce natural gas rates by 13 percent for the off-peak season running from May 1 until November 1. That translates into a monthly savings of approximately $6 for the typical National Grid natural gas customer in Massachusetts. …”

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