Price of Electricity Coming Down for National Grid Customers in Rhode Island
PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Islanders are likely to pay less for their electric bill in the coming months after the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (“Commission”) approved a recent rate proposal for Last Resort Service (LRS) from National Grid effective April 1. This decreased rate applies to those customers who utilize National Grid’s “Last Resort” supply service.
For residential customers, the new base LRS “summer rate” approved by the Commission is 7.174 cents/kWh, a decrease from the current base LRS rate of 10.491 cents/kWh, a 3.317 cents/kWh decrease. The impact of the new Residential LRS rate on the monthly bill for a residential customer using 500 kWh a month is a decrease of $17.27, or 13.9%. For commercial customers, which included ‘Small Commercial & Industrial’ customers, the base rate is expected to go from the current rate of 8.730 cents/kWh to 6.451 cents/kWh, a 2.279 cents/kWh decrease, and monthly bill decreases are expected to range from 8.5% to just under 14%, depending on a customer’s usage.
While the lower ‘summer’ rates will be welcome news over the next several months, the Commission did note that if current trends continue, next winter’s electric rates are likely to be much higher than New Englanders have seen in previous years. Electric prices are highly correlated with natural gas prices, which have been significantly higher this year. Natural gas prices in New England are also heavily dependent on global Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) prices. As was the case this past winter, there is great demand for LNG in Europe and Asia. The demand in Europe has also increased for next winter due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. To help protect customers against these spikes, National Grid procures 50 percent of its needed load for Rhode Island more than nine months in advance, whereas some New England states procure much of it closer to the winter, which can create even higher rates when prices are increasing.
“We’re happy our customers will see some relief on the price of electricity during the upcoming summer months,” said Brian Schuster, Director of Customer and Community Management with National Grid in Rhode Island. “But as the Commissioners discussed at this week’s open meeting, as energy prices remain extremely volatile due to global issues, the outlook for winter electric prices could mean significant rate increases. And while we can’t control the cost of the energy supply, we do want to encourage customers to prepare now for that potential.”
The new LRS rates, approved by the Commission, are effective for residential and commercial customers from April 1, 2022 through September 30, 2022, and for industrial customers are effective from April 1, 2022 through June 30, 2022. The electricity supply or LRS rates represent the cost at which National Grid buys electricity and delivers it to its customers without a mark-up. The LRS electricity supply rates are adjusted twice a year at the discretion of the Commission for residential and small and medium business customers and are determined by the market, not National Grid.
Final LRS rates were approved on March 29, 2022 when the Commission ruled on the proposed base LRS rates. The Commission also ruled on rates associated with National Grid’s Electric and Gas Infrastructure, Safety and Reliability Plans, the Annual Retail Rate filing, Storm Fund Cost Replenishment, and the Renewable Energy Standard Charge. When looking at the total electric monthly bill impact of all the rates, the vast majority of customers will see a decrease in their electric bill. A residential Last Resort Service customer who uses 500 kilowatt-hours a month would see a decrease of $12.56 on their monthly bill which amounts to a 10.1% decrease.
When it comes to the supply portion of the bill, most customers also have the option to choose from a variety of competitive electricity suppliers. Customers can perform their due diligence and explore other supplier options at www.ri.gov/empowerri or on our website at www.nationalgridus.com. Regardless of a customer’s chosen supplier, National Grid will continue to deliver reliable electricity, respond to service and emergency needs and provide storm restoration services.
The best way for customers to try and decrease their bills and prepare for adjustments is by becoming more energy efficient in their energy use year-round. For example, replacing a minimum of five incandescent lights with ENERGY STAR ® light bulbs could provide a typical savings of $9 a month and help offset seasonal increases. Simply recycling or getting rid of an older or second refrigerator could save customers $23 a month. Customers can visit www.ngrid.com/shop for energy efficient and smart home products while receiving instant rebates exclusive to National Grid customers. The site offers products like ENERGY STAR ® LED light bulbs, water saving showerheads, smart thermostats and more – which can help customers conveniently lower their energy use. For more tips on how to lower your energy bills, customers can go visit: www.ngrid.com/save. National Grid also offers many programs to help customers manage their costs: Customers facing challenges paying their utility bills, are encouraged to explore the following programs by visiting www.ngrid.com/billhelp or calling 1.800.322.3223:
- Budget Billing
- COVID-19 Payment Agreement – which allows customers to avoid the risk of disconnection by paying any overdue balance over time
- Residential Low-Income Discount rate classes - for eligible residential customers, offering a 25% or 30% discount off of a residential customer’s total bill
- Arrearage Management Program – offers eligible low-income customers arrearage forgiveness up to $1,500 annually.
About National Grid
About National Grid: National Grid (NYSE: NGG) is an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company serving more than 20 million people through our networks in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. National Grid is transforming our electricity and natural gas networks with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions to meet the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
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