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National Grid gas and electric customers will pay less starting May 1

By: Bob Kievra |

National Grid gas and electric customers will pay less starting May 1 as falling energy prices reduce heating and lighting costs.

The utility said if new rates are approved for the six-month period starting May 1, an average electric bill will drop 26 percent, or about $32, for a residential customer using 500 kilowatts per month.

A typical gas customer can see a decrease of between 25 percent to 30 percent compared to winter rates, depending upon their territory, or between $9 and $12 less per month.

The supply portion of a customer’s electric bill will be reduced from 16.27 cents per kilowatt hour to 9.26 cents per kilowatt hour if the state Department of Public Utilities approves National Grid’s request.

National Grid President Marcy Reed said the company does not make money on the electricity or gas it purchases on behalf of customers.

“As we emerge from what has been a relentless winter, we are pleased that our customers will start to feel some relief from what we know has been a challenger to their energy budgets,” Ms. Reed said in a statement.

While electric rates will drop compared to the previous six months, they will still be higher than for the same six-month period in 2014. Last May, the supply service rate was about 8 cents per kilowatt hour; this year it will be 9.26 cents per kilowatt hour, a 12 percent (or $5 monthly) increase for those using 500 kilowatts.

The year over year increase is largely due to pipeline infrastructure constraints, which limit the the amount of natural gas available to generate electricity, according to National Grid.

The company said it expects rates will likely increase again next winter because of the ongoing pipeline constraint issues.

National Grid has about 1.3 million electric customers. In Central Massachusetts, National Grid has gas customers in Leominster, Southbridge, Clinton, Webster, Brookfield, Dudley, East Brookfield, Harvard, Lancaster, Leicester, Lunenburg, North Brookfield, Oxford, Shirley, Spencer, Warren and West Brookfield.