CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The 22News I-Team has made several requests for an interview with the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) Commissioners in an effort to get some answers about the increase in electric rates. We have been reporting on the complaints we have received from viewers who say their electric bills have doubled in the past two months.
The I-Team first contacted the Department of Public Utilities for an interview on February 24, then again on March 5 and March 16. On Thursday, March 19 we were contacted by Peter Lorenz, the Communications Director at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. He informed us that “DPU schedules just will not permit an interview in the coming weeks.”On Friday morning we received this statement from the DPU:
“The Department of Public Utilities shares the concerns of electric customers about recent increases in their electricity bills. These increases are primarily due to wholesale electricity prices that are passed through to the customer. Although the Department has no authority to regulate the price of these so-called basic service rates, it has undertaken a number of efforts to assist customers and educate them about energy efficiency, and bill payment options. The Department also has a proceeding underway that seeks to invigorate the competitive supply market so that consumers have choices in how they purchase their electric supply.”
The 22News I-Team will continue to look for answers for our viewers and update any developments.