CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP)- The 22News I-Team continues to receive dozens of phone calls and emails every week from viewers who are outraged over the increase in their electric bills. National Grid was approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities(DPU) for an increase of 37% and Eversource, formerly known as WMECo, was approved for a 29% increase.
Many people have complained that their bills have gone up 50-75 percent. Others who have switched to a third-party supplier found that Eversource and National Grid back charged them at the variable rate. Under “market price adjustment,” if you switch companies, up to six months of your past billing will be recalculated, resulting in a charge or credit.
The electric market is deregulated in Massachusetts. This means the utilities own and maintain the infrastructure and are responsible for distributing electricity to homes and businesses, but competing third-party electricity providers are allowed to buy electricity and sell it directly to consumers. The option of having other electric providers, according to supply and demand economics, is supposed to create competition and drive the price down.
The 22News I-Team has made several requests for interviews with the DPU Commissioners. We are still waiting on a date. In the meantime, people want answers and accountability. Our suggestion is to file complaints with your state representatives and state senators. They can be reached at their local offices or at the state house. You can also file a complaint with the DPU and the State Attorney General’s office.