BOSTON (WWLP) – Following the cold snap we had over the past weekend, residents will be closely looking at their home heating bills. Early last month, the chair of the Department of Public Utilities told lawmakers that the DPU had opened an investigation into basic electric services across the state.
In January, over 90 lawmakers signed onto a letter to Matthew Nelson, the chair of the DPU. In the letter, legislators asked the DPU to reconsider their energy rates due to the fact that prices of oil and natural gas had decreased.
This winter, natural gas customers have seen a 28% increase, electric heat customers have seen a 57% increase and oil customers have seen a 63% increase.
However, last week the DPU approved a mid-season reduction in gas supply. In contrast to gas supply rates, electric basic services rates do not change during the winter period because they’re based on fixed contracts.
“It’s just not fair that they continue to raise their rates this way and it doesn’t make any sense to me so, whatever it takes even if it’s a change in legislation, that’s what we need to know from the DPU,” said Springfield Rep. Orlando Ramos.
The investigation is hoping to make sense of the severe seasonal differences in electric supply rates. Overall demand for electricity is expected to grow in the Bay State as the state moves towards a net-zero emissions goal.