DPU Studies Electricity Rates Across State
MA paid very high electricity rates and services this winter. That’s no secret, especially when you look at basic electric supply rates across the state. But lawmakers have questions and they have asked the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to find answers.
Why DPU Is Investigating?
In January, lawmakers sent a letter to DPU chair, Matthew Nelson. In it, they asked him to reconsider how the DPU approves winter energy supply rates. Lawmakers agreed that winter rate hikes are justified by high natural gas prices. But as it turns out, natural gas prices have dropped since the start of the year. So the letter reasons that basic supply rates and electricity bills should drop to reflect this.
Electricity Services Rate Periods
Early on, the investigation found that the two current six-month rate periods helped cause problems. That’s because the two months with the highest heating costs, January and February, are both in the same rate period. This makes winter rates the most expensive of the year. As a result, the DPU proposes to redefine the rate periods (February – July, August – January). This way at least one of the most expensive months would follow a lower rate and help rein-in costs.
The investigation is also looking into basic service procurement. Because right now, basic services rates for electricity are at an all-time high. On top of this, less than half the state’s customers are on basic service rates. That means MA utilities have to find a way to change so they can offer affordable basic service rates.
DPU Orders Short-Term Relief
In the short term, DPU ordered natural gas companies to revise their supply rates to match natural gas prices. This led to a drop in basic service rates from February to April. And since generators also burn natural gas, most customers will save 4%-5% on their electricity bills as well.
Expensive MA Electricity Services
Lawmakers are doing what they can to deal with high electric service rates. And while the DPU looks deeper, customers can hope this probe finds solutions to the high cost of winter heating. In the meantime, of the best ways to save are by cutting your usage and shopping cheap electricity rates.
As always, you can learn other ways to save money and shop the best rates and plans at https://www.maenergyratings.com.