Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Senate Republican Caucus Press Release on Electric Rates

Today the Senate Republican Caucus, led by Senator Richard Ross, distributed the following press release regarding a letter the caucus sent to Attorney General Martha Coakley and others seeking further review concerning National Grid receiving approval from the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to raise electric rates for customers. National Grid estimates that rates could jump as high as 37% this upcoming winter due to an elevation in power supply prices.

Posted below is a signed copy of the letter to the AG from the Senate Republican Caucus:

Senate Republican Caucus Seeks Answers from National Grid

Boston- Following National Grid’s recent announcement that customers will see a substantial increase in their winter electric rates, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), along with fellow Republican Senators Richard Ross (R-Wrentham), Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth), and Donald Humason (R-Westfield), submitted a letter to the office of Attorney General Martha Coakley, for further clarification of this decision and its implications for Massachusetts home and business owners.

On Wednesday, September 24th, National Grid issued a press release stating that they recently filed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to adjust electric and gas rates for the winter. National Grid projects that electric bills for customers will be 37% higher than last winter, citing higher power supply prices as a cause.

In the October 7th letter authored by Senator Ross, which was also sent to Governor Deval Patrick, Chair of the Department of Public Utilities Ann Berwick, and Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Maeve Vallely Bartlett, the Caucus wrote, “As Massachusetts families struggle to meet their financial needs during the costly demands of winter, the cost of this rate increase will present a serious burden. Massachusetts businesses will face yet another financial obstacle to remaining competitive in a challenging economy.”

The Senate Republican Caucus requests:

             A full review and examination of Department of Public Utilities’ approval of National Grid’s proposed rate increase to ensure that it is in full compliance with Massachusetts law and represents the least burdensome course of action.

             The office of the Attorney General determines whether any options are available to alleviate the burden that the proposed rate increase will present.

According to National Grid, the increase in electricity costs will take effect on November 1, 2014.

“With NSTAR and Western Massachusetts Electric Company expected to file their rates in November, it is important that we confront this serious issue early,” the Caucus wrote.