National Grid customers can expect a big jump in electricity, heating rates this winter

The National Grid gas tank in Dorchester designed by artist Corita Kent. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
The National Grid gas tank in Dorchester designed by artist Corita Kent. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Electricity bills for National Grid customers are expected to spike this winter, in part due to the war in Ukraine driving up the price of natural gas.

The company asked state regulators for a 64% residential rate increase over the same period last year. New rates, filed Wednesday with the Department of Public Utilities, showed about $114 more due on a typical month's electric bill over a six-month period, beginning in November.

About half of New England's electric generation is powered by natural gas or liquid natural gas, the price of which National Grid says has increased due to global conflict, inflation and high demand.

"We procure electricity on behalf of our Massachusetts electric customers — typically about 50% in March and about 50% in September. In March, supply costs skyrocketed due to the conflict in Ukraine," said Helen Burt, chief customer officer at National Grid.

State officials are reportedly working with federal counterparts to help residents prepare for the winter.

"This winter will be, at best, a very high-cost energy winter," said Judy Chang, undersecretary of energy and climate solutions. "So everybody should conserve. Everybody who has close friends, please tell them conserve."

National Grid is also seeking a hike in natural gas rates, which would result in a 22% increase for residential heating customers compared to last winter.

Burt says the company has launched an online resource for people to learn about ways to save money this winter, including through home energy audits and programs for financial assistance.

With reporting from WBUR's Fausto Menard and State House News Service's Colin A. Young



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