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Reduced Delivery Rates, Energy Efficiency Options Help Lower Winter Energy Bills

September 30, 2013 – National Grid customers will see lower heating bills this winter. Customers of the utility will benefit from reduced delivery rates under its most recent rate plan that went into effect on April 1, 2013. Typical residential heating customers could see a reduction of more than 9 percent on their total natural gas bill over the course of the heating season based on typical winter usage.

A typical residential heating customer who would ordinarily use about 711 therms during a normal heating season (from November to March) is forecasted to pay about $581 during the five-month period, or $62 less than last year for the same amount of usage. This natural gas bill is 35% lower than what a typical residential customer paid five years ago during the winter heating season.

A customer’s total natural gas bill consists of two components – the natural gas supply purchased by the Company and National Grid’s delivery costs. National Grid purchases natural gas supply in the wholesale markets on behalf of its customers, and works diligently to obtain the most favorable prices possible. The cost of those purchases is passed along to customers directly, with no mark-up. Although natural gas prices are forecasted to increase this winter under current market conditions, National Grid is able to temper those increases because of its purchasing program.

The delivery portion of the bill reflects National Grid’s cost to bring the gas directly to customers, maintain the local gas network, and provide emergency response and customer service. National Grid’s natural gas customers have been benefiting from reduced delivery rates since April 1st when the rate plan approved by the New York State Public Service Commission first went into effect.

National Grid Regional Director William Flaherty highlighted the fact that the combination of market prices, actual natural gas usage, and weather conditions ultimately determines what a customer’s bill will be. Severe cold weather can dramatically impact both usage and market prices for supply.

Natural gas remains the best heating source for upstate New York residents because of its convenience, comfort, and comparable environmental benefits. Natural gas burns clean and can increase energy efficiency by up to 30 percent compared to other heating sources.

“Natural gas is a clean burning, versatile fuel that is an excellent heating choice in upstate New York,” Flaherty said. “Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel and, unlike oil, produces no soot or fumes.”

A typical National Grid customer in the northeast United States who converts from heating oil to natural gas saves enough CO2 in one year to equate to about 15 cars being taken off the road.

In addition to choosing natural gas as a fuel source, conservation and efficiency can also help customers manage energy bills and reduce their environmental impact. National Grid has a 20-year track record of successful, award-winning efficiency programs in the U.S., many available to upstate New York customers. Current natural gas efficiency programs include incentives for installation of high-efficiency, space heating and water heating equipment; rebates for Energy Star rated programmable thermostats; and a high-efficiency heating and water heating program for commercial customers.

Detailed information on all of National Grid’s energy efficiency programs and additional efficiency tips can be found at . National Grid continues to communicate its energy-efficiency messages to customers through bills, newsletters, customer meetings, media interviews, web site information, news releases, public meetings and mailings.

Customers who have concerns about their ability to pay their bill are urged to call National Grid at 1-800-642-4272 as soon as possible. The sooner a customer calls, the easier it is for the company to assist them.

Steps customers should consider to keep their homes warm over the winter heating season include:

  • Energy conservation – This includes installing sufficient insulation and weather stripping and having appliances inspected – especially furnaces and water heaters. It also includes changing furnace filters regularly and considering purchasing a programmable thermostat.
  • Billing options – National Grid’s budget plan is a convenient payment option that helps spread payments out more evenly across the year. This is particularly helpful to individuals on fixed incomes.
  • Applying for special assistance programs – Help is available for customers who have difficulty paying their heating bills. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides financial assistance to income-eligible applicants. Households receiving public assistance, Supplemental Security Income or food stamps are the most likely to be eligible for LIHEAP. This federal program opens in November and is available on a first-come, first-served basis to all utility customers. Customers who believe they may qualify are urged to call the New York State Office for the Aging in their county or their county Department of Social Services for more information.
  • Replacing aging appliances – Newer natural gas furnaces use fuel more efficiently. High-efficiency units may cost more to buy, but they will save money in the long run, and now with National Grid’s rebate program, are more affordable.
  • Reducing energy use by up to 40 percent through NYSERDA – NYSERDA’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program offers assistance to help improve a home’s energy efficiency. Financial incentives and special financing options are available. For more information, visit or call 1-877-NY-SMART.
  • Visiting -- For energy saving tips, rebates, a list of qualified energy services companies and much more, visit National Grid’s web site or call 1-800-642-4272.

About National Grid

National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society - to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it ‘joins everything up’.

In the northeast US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.

National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), and owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation, providing power to over one million LIPA customers. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

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