Getting Answers: increase in electric rates

Concerned viewers, frustrated about the high electric bills they are getting right now, reached out to Western Mass News looking for answers.
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:29 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Concerned viewers, frustrated about the high electric bills they are getting right now, reached out to Western Mass News looking for answers.

We took their questions to experts to find out why and what we can expect moving forward.

Electric rates are set twice a year – in January and July. The latest increases taking effect this summer are hitting wallets hard, but experts said that unfortunately, it could get even worse by the winter.

When Matt P. received his electric bill from Eversource, he reached out to our Western Mass News Getting Answers team. He said:

“Is anyone else losing their mind over their electric bill? We just got ours and it essentially doubled. I am shell-shocked on this one. I work so hard and to just fork it over like this is very painful.”

According to Eversource, usage rates went up from 13.731 cents to 15.348 cents per kilowatt hour, effective July 1st.

We took our questions to Western New England University Professor Maria Toyoda to find out why.

“Two major pressures currently,” Professor Toyoda told us. “One geopolitical, the other has to do with the current heat wave that much of the country has been experiencing.”

Professor Toyoda said that the war in Ukraine and recent weather are to blame, and the worst is yet to come.

“I’m afraid this is not the end of the rate increases,” she said. “We’ll probably see some pretty significant increases coming through the fall into the winter.”

We also checked in with Eversource spokesperson Priscilla Ress who offered tips on how to keep your bills down, including using your appliances at night.

“You’re not running your dryer, that will heat up the house again,” Ress said. “It makes the appliances work harder, it costs more money.”

These electric rates are regulated by the state’s Department of Public Utilities, and ahead of yet another proposed 8% increase this upcoming January.

“We are going to be paying a lot for energy and we need to use it as wisely, as efficiently as possible,” Ress told us.

Eversource is asking for rates to increase up to 8% in January, but that is still under review by the state.

You can find more tips on how you can save money on the Eversource website.