National Grid Rate Hike to Pay for 2 Year Old Storm Damage

The growing frequency of severe storms are inflicting more damage to utility grids. Learn why National Grid wants a rate hike and why MA consumer advocates are fighting it.

Will National Grid Rate Hike Happen?

A rate hike by National Grid to cover 2 year old storm damage will increase your bills. Should they get it? Learn the facts effecting a DPU decision.
National Grid is asking the MA DPU for a rate hike to pay for storm damage from 2 years ago. Should they get it? Learn how it could affect your bills and why consumer advocates are fight it.

National Grid recently asked the MA Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to raise their distribution charges this October. This means higher energy bills would follow hard after an already pricey summer. The rate hike is supposed to pay for damages caused by a winter storm 2 years ago. For that reason, there’s some debate on how to handle the costs fairly. Let’s talk about why the National Grid rate hike may happen.

Why National Grid Wants Rate Hike

Back in October 2021, a nor’easter slammed into MA hard. This nor’easter later became Tropical Storm Wanda and knocked down down trees and power lines caused power outages to about a half-million energy customers.

Repairs and improvements after the storms cost National Grid $52 million. And while the utility budgets for around four major storms a year, repairs far surpassed that estimate. For this reason, the utility requests the rate hike the delivery charge on your bill so they can recoup costs of $103 million.

Critical Response To National Grid

However, The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) doesn’t agree with the rate hike. CLF sent a letter to the DPU urging that the request be denied. The letter argues that energy customers shouldn’t have to pay because the utility failed to prepare for the effects of climate change. CLF argues that National Grid should be fully responsible for not adequately maintaining their grid.

This argument is based in the ongoing problem of climate change. Simply put, increasing global temperatures are leading to an increase in powerful storms. By forcing utilities to invest in climate change readiness, they can avoid big problems like the 2021 blackouts.

National Grid argues that they have been investing to harden its power grid. This has included cutting back trees from power lines, enhancing construction standards, and burying lines. But burying power lines is not cheap.

How Rate Hike Affects Customers

Your bills will likely rise if the rate hike is accepted. Thankfully, CBS reports that National Grid claims bills would only rise by about $3.36 a month. While this isn’t a lot, all National Grid residential customers in MA pay the same distribution rate no matter who supplies their electricity. Plus, rates are also subject to approval at the discretion of the DPU.

When Will Rates Rise?

At the moment, the DPU is reviewing the rate case. This includes discussion CLF’s response and comments. While we don’t know a date for any response, we will report it as soon as we can. You can also visit to shop for the best electricity rates in your town. You can also keep up to date on the news that will affect your energy bill.

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