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National Grid looking for rate increases

Oct 01, 2020 1:45 pm
Rick Karlin is reporting for the Times Union the state Public Service Commission this week heard from a range of community development and environmental groups on the subject of National Grid's requested 4 percent electric and 6 percent gas rate increase. If approved the new rates would go into effect in July 2021. Chamber of commerce and business development groups as well as human service agencies spoke during an online public statement hearing in support of the plan, noting the utility has been generous with grants and other assistance and they support the efforts to upgrade the utility's infrastructure. At the same time, environmental groups argue the increase would help fund National Grid’s plans for more natural gas pipelines, which they view as the wrong approach in the era of climate change. Others said the rate hikes would impose a special hardship on low-income customers, especially since many are unemployed or under-employed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company noted that in July they proposed a $50 million COVID-19 relief plan to help customers impacted by the pandemic. The newly updated plan includes up to $25 million for low income customers enrolled in the Energy Assistance Program with immediate bill credits and help with making payments that are in arrears. National Grid’s current three-year rate agreement expires March 31, 2021. Read more in the Times Union.