What is the reason behind increased electric rates?

Representatives say there's a lack of natural gas

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Many people in Western Massachusetts are frustrated they’re being charged more for electricity.

Wednesday morning, 22News was part of a conference call with ISO, the independent organization responsible for keeping energy flowing through New England. Representatives said there’s a lack of natural gas to both heat people’s homes and generate electricity for electric companies. That, in turn, causes the electric rate to increase.

22News asked ISO New England CEO Gordon Van Welie if another pipeline, like the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline, would alleviate that lack of supply in Massachusetts.

“As long as a pipeline project sort of provides the amount of gas indicated in those studies, it will do the job. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Kinder Morgan pipe or any other pipe,” said Van Welie.

Van Welie said when there’s a lack of natural gas, they rely on oil and coal fuel.

Recently, some of those fuel plants have closed in New England, making it more difficult to rely on them. They did discuss the possibility of relying more on solar and wind energy, but said that would be enough to make up for a lack of natural gas supply.

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