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Electric bills in Westford could increase by 64% this winter, savings options available

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WESTFORD — National Grid and Eversource customers could see steep increases in their utility bills this winter.

Citing an increase in the price of natural gas and increasing demand for power, both companies are proposing sharp rate increases that could take effect this winter.

“In total, the monthly bill of a typical residential electric customer using 600 kWh (kilowatt hours) will increase from $179 in the winter 2021-2022 season, to approximately $293 for the winter 2022-2023 season,” National Grid wrote in a news release.

The change marks an approximately 63.5% increase year over year.

National Grid proposed rate changes. (Photo/National Grid)

The company says it has kept its delivery rate, which pays for the infrastructure to transport energy to customers. “essentially flat” for customers.

Rates are typically seasonally adjusted for natural gas customers. The company said the average Boston Gas customer could see an increase of $50 or 22%, and the average Colonial Gas customer could see an increase of $47 or 24% compared to 2021 rates.

National Grid will transition to its winter rates on Nov. 1.

Eversource, whose proposed natural gas rates are also set to take effect on Nov. 1, would increase prices by about 38% or $86 for customers on former NSTAR gas locations and 25% or $61 for customers in the former Columbia Gas locations.

Eversource cites the current “high supply cost” of natural gas worldwide and the need to “safely and reliably” operate its gas system as reason for increasing costs.

Cost-savings options 

A number of costs-savings options are available to customers. National Grid announced its “Winter Cost Savings Initiative,” which included energy efficiency tips and flexible payment plans.  Eversource also shared its energy-saving resources. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program is also available to Massachusetts residents.

Westford is one of a number of municipalities with an electrical aggregation program, which provides price stability for a fixed-term. Westford’s current contract, which began on Jan. 1, 2021 is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2023.

Currently, Westford’s Power Options Program Basic plan charges $0.10470/kWh through Constellation NewEnergy.

National Grid, which provides utilities to households outside of the program, currently charges $0.11491/kWh for its basic plan. This rate is subject to change on Nov. 1, when National Grid plans to adjust to its winter rates.

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Ben Domaingue, Managing Editor
Ben Domaingue, Managing Editorhttps://www.clippings.me/bendomaingue
Ben Domaingue has previously worked at newspapers in New Hampshire and is the Managing Editor covering Westford. He’s passionate about community journalism, photography and hiking. Email him at bdomaingue@westfordcat.org.