National Grid launches the Winter Customer Savings Initiative to provide options to manage costs and secure assistance
WALTHAM, MA – National Grid recognizes that our customers are facing challenging economic times and that no one wants to see their energy bill rise. This winter heating season, National Grid is launching the Winter Customer Savings Initiative to help customers reduce their energy use and save money, better manage their bills, and secure available energy assistance.
The initiative brings together and expands National Grid’s many customer resources, including numerous payment assistance programs for income-eligible customers, extensive residential and business energy efficiency programs and incentives, low-cost and no-cost bill management solutions, and flexible payment programs.
“We want to do everything we can to help our customers manage through the months ahead through our Winter Customer Savings Initiative, while maintaining high levels of service to meet their energy needs this winter season,” said Helen Burt, National Grid’s Chief Customer Officer. “This includes informing customers that they can ‘shop’ or choose from different energy suppliers, in addition to taking advantage of energy saving programs, including those supported by Mass Save. We believe helping customers take more control over how and what energy they use creates a more equitable and affordable energy future.”
With energy costs rising due to global conflict, inflationary pressures, and high demand as the winter heating season approaches, National Grid understands the impact this increased financial burden can have on our customers and communities, especially when we are all experiencing increased costs for other goods and services. National Grid buys energy on behalf of our customers from the wholesale market and passes through those costs without any markup or profit, so customers pay what National Grid pays for that energy.
National Grid is reaching out to customers to inform them of the Winter Customer Savings Initiative using multiple communications channels and through in-person Customer Energy Savings events being held across Massachusetts. These events will raise awareness of the choices and options customers have to reduce and manage their energy costs, including through National Grid’s many energy and cost saving programs and payment options, such as Balanced/Budget Billing, and other assistance programs. We are going into communities and meeting customers where they live, work and go about their daily activities to provide a convenient and timely way to speak directly to a National Grid representative and other assistance providers, providing a “one-stop-shop” to sign up for money saving programs, enroll in energy assistance, and learn about all available options.
“We know winter isn’t far away, so we’re encouraging and making it easier for our customers to take action now and letting them know that we are here to help,” said Burt.
In addition to the extensive energy efficiency programs and payment options, National Grid will continue to provide much-needed financial support to our community partners and organizations that help customers meet their energy and other basic needs during these difficult heating months.
“We want to help customers every way we can and ensure they have the opportunity to manage their bills this winter, save money and get the assistance they need,” added Burt.
Residential Electric Forecast
With prices for natural gas, which drive electricity costs, significantly higher this winter due to global conflict, inflation and high demand, electricity rates for National Grid customers that take Basic Service will increase starting November 1st.
In total, the monthly bill of a typical residential electric customer using 600 kWh will increase from $179 in the winter 2021-2022 season, to approximately $293 for the winter 2022-2023 season, or a 64 percent increase, driven by higher electric supply prices. National Grid moves from summer to winter rates November 1st of each year, per our regulatory schedule. Winter rates are traditionally higher than summer rates, due to the high demand for natural gas. To help minimize bill impacts this winter season, National Grid worked to keep the delivery portion of the bill essentially flat, which is the portion of the bill that pays for the infrastructure to safely and reliably deliver electricity to our 1.3 million customers.
“National Grid buys electricity on behalf of its customers from the wholesale power market through a regulatory approved process established 20 years ago. That process has served customers well over the years and provides flexibility for unforeseen events, like limited supplier response to solicitations. But things have fundamentally changed,” said Burt. “Today, under a sustained, high market price environment, it is challenging to maintain affordable prices. Given that, we think it’s a good time to work with our regulators and other stakeholders to review the process and electricity supply dynamics in the region, with an eye toward reducing price volatility and maintaining a secure, reliable and resilient energy system for the future.”
Residential Natural Gas Forecast
As with electricity, National Grid adjusts its natural gas rates November 1st and May 1st to reflect seasonal differences in the cost of natural gas. Similar to electric, National Grid does not profit from gas supply costs; instead, customers pay what we pay for natural gas supply. The company has a pending proposal with the Department of Public Utilities that would result in a monthly bill for an average Boston Gas residential heating customer using 115 therms per month of $278, an increase of $50, or 22 percent, compared to rates last winter. For an average Colonial Gas residential heating customer using 107 therms per month, the typical bill would be $241, an increase of $47, or 24 percent, compared to rates last winter.
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