SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities has approved an additional round of reduced gas supply rates.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) expects that the reduction will lead to about a 10-percent decrease in customers’ bills. The DPU said the reductions come due to updates forecasts in customer usage, along with the market-based price of natural gas over the winter season.
22News spoke with Eversource Spokesperson Priscilla Ress who explained why these supply rates are being cut for gas but not electricity.
Your energy bill is made up of both the supply rate and delivery rate. Gas distribution companies in Massachusetts are required to purchase gas at the market price and pass that cost along to customers without making a profit.
Natural gas and electric supply rates are adjusted through separate processes in accordance to laws and regulations. Electric supply rates are adjusted every January 1 and July 1 each year, which represents the cost that Eversource pays generators for the power that customers use.
Natural gas supply rates are adjusted on November 1 and May 1. However, unlike electricity supply prices, natural gas supply prices fluctuate. Under law, if it fluctuates by more than 5 percent, adjustments must be made to not over or under charge customers. This is the reason natural gas supply rates have now changed twice this winter.
“We know how frustrated our customers already are with high prices for many daily, basic needs. We highly encourage customers who may need help paying their bill to take advantage of the many assistance programs available, and we are ready to work with all customers one-on-one to connect them with payment options and bill assistance programs,” said Ress.
The DPU also offers resources for those struggling with utility bills.