WMECo to increase electricity costs by 29 percent

WMass can expect to pay $26 more a month in January

BOSTON (WWLP) – Expect to pay more for electricity beginning next year. Western Massachusetts Electric Company is proposing a 29 percent price hike for their Basic Service supply rate pending approval from the state Department of Public Utilities.

“We expect all utilities by January first will have a rate increase,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Maeve Bartlett.

An average household in western Massachusetts can expect to pay $26 more a month in January. WMECo blames limitations to the region’s natural gas pipeline as the reason why your electric bill is going up. By law, energy companies change their Basic Service rates twice a year – in January and July. I talked to one state lawmaker who said the timing is interesting, especially when controversial pipeline proposals are under review.

“There are projects being proposed right now that people may want to influence the outcome of,” said State Representative Paul Mark (D-Peru).

Northeast Utilities Company which owns WMECo proposed a project of their own. They are hoping to use existing pipeline routes to funnel natural gas from Canada to New England.

The state Department of Public Utilities has until Friday, November 21 to make their decision on the proposed Basic Service rate increases.

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