WMECo says they are not to blame for rate hike

22News explains why prices have gone up, and how residents are affected

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Get ready for a nearly 30% increase in your WMECo bills. Starting this month, the average family can expect to pay $26 more per month for your electricity. That’s an additional 156 dollars for the first six months of 2015.

“People are struggling enough to make it now. I mean it’s hard enough as it is and for things to be going up right now, it’s difficult,” said Lisa DelNegro of West Springfield.

Many utility customers blame WMECo. That’s why 22News sat down with the company, to get answers to your questions.They say they are not to blame.

“By law, WMECo doesn’t make a penny off the sale of electricity. We deliver electricity. We’re the folks that keep the lights on,” said WMECo spokeswoman, Priscilla Ress.

WMECo’s electricity is generated through natural gas. They say a shortage has caused suppliers to raise their rates, which in turn, gets passed on to you. One West Springfield couple told 22News they’ve already started feeling the effects.

“Whenever she’s cold she’s bundling up and stuff. She’s trying to help conserve the energy as well. @28:26 Maybe even a gradual one but just 30% right off the bat is a lot,” said Michael Price of West Springfield.

However, not everyone in Hampden County will be paying more, though. In Chicopee, the city has a municipal electric company, which doesn’t rely as heavily on natural gas. A similar case in Holyoke and Westfield, where city electric providers were also able to keep their rates down.

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