CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) Electric costs are expected to go up just as the winter cold is setting into New England. Eversource said they have no choice but to pass the burden of higher natural gas costs along to consumers.
If approved by the Department of Public Utilities, effective January 1, 2023, the basic service rate for residential customers in Western Massachusetts will jump from 15.35 cents per kilowatt hour to 21.86 cents per kilowatt hour. Customers that use 600 kilowatt hours in a month can expect a bill increase of 21%, or just over $39.
“It sounds like nothing but corporate greed to me. My wife and I have done everything we can to conserve energy we have insulation put in like you wouldn’t believe all new light bulbs we’re thinking about it constantly,” said Springfield resident Ed Snyder.
Eversource is assuring its customers that these rate increases for supply do not result in higher profits. Russia’s war in Ukraine is driving up demand, and Eversource said the increase does not result in higher profits for the company.
“Now in New England we rely on natural gas for about 40-percent of our power generation,” said Jared Lawrence, Senior Vice President for Customer Operations, Eversource. “So unfortunately right now with all that unrest – the price we offer essentially to replicate that market is significantly higher.”
Electric companies charge consumers for the work improving the grid, such as installing new wires or updates on transformers. The rate reflects the cost for the repairs plus about 10%. Electric companies are not permitted to charge the consumer more then the supply cost for electricity, which is usually the lowest bid.
“The profits come from the capital we invest in our infrastructure. So the reason that profits are typically up year after year is because we are constantly investing more into our infrastructure just to modernize it,” said Lawrence.