National Grid requests increase in gas prices for repairs

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BOSTON (AP) — National Grid is seeking to raise rates for gas customers it serves in Massachusetts to invest in infrastructure repair.

The utility’s gas distribution companies, Colonial Gas and Boston Gas, have asked the Department of Public Utilities for approval to raise rates an average of 6.2% for residential users and 13.4% for industrial customers, the Salem News reported on Wednesday.

At a public hearing Tuesday, National Grid said it is seeking to raise $138 million with the rate increases to invest in gas distribution infrastructure.

“I understand that there is never an ideal time to raise rates and we are always mindful of the impact that rate increases have on our customers,” National Grid Massachusetts President Marcy Reed said during Tuesday’s hearing. “However I am confident that the request … is necessary to maintain the level of service our customers expect.”

National Grid serves 900,000 customers in Massachusetts and has not sought a rate increase since 2017, the newspaper reported. At that time, Attorney General Maura Healey’s office intervened to convince state regulators to approve a lower rate increase than the company had requested.

Regulators will hold another hearing on Thursday at 10 a.m., which will be streamed live on the Department of Public Utilities website. If approved, the rate increases would go into effect in October this year.

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