Massachusetts’ electricity rates to increase by 37 percent this winter

The National Grid, a utility that provides electricity and natural gas to 3.4 million customers in Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island, just announced they were increasing electricity prices by 37 percent over last year to their customers in Massachusetts:

“September 24, 2014 – National Grid recently filed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to adjust electric and gas rates for the winter. 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). 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. ”

A 37 percent increase could make Massachusetts electricity rates the second highest in the country, behind only electricity rates in Hawaii. Currently, the average retail electricity rate in Massachusetts is 16.27 cents per kilowatt hour. An additional 37 percent would make the average retail rate 22.29 cents per kilowatt hour in Massachusetts.

As Roger Bezdek and Frank Clemente explained in a study earlier this year, ” policies  which hurt the U.S. coal fleet are placing the reliability, affordability, and security of  America’s electric supply system at risk.” Massachusetts is demonstrating, through it’s policies, what happens when coal is removed from electricity generation without sufficient infrastructure for backup. This 37 percent increase is just the beginning of electricity affordability issues for New England.

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