State lawmakers working to stop hike in utility prices

State lawmakers working to stop hike in utility prices
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 4:25 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The cooler temperatures this first full day of fall have many thinking about keeping warm and the rising costs expected this winter. With double digit price hikes for many National Grid and Eversource customers, we’re getting answers on what’s being done locally to find relief.

“It’s going to be hard. I mean, it’s already hard enough as it is. I feel strongly that there should be a cap. You know, I don’t know why…we’re not getting paid more. It’s going to affect a lot of people,” said April Griffin from Sunderland.

Griffin, along with others in the Bay State, are preparing to feel the pinch from higher heating bills this coming winter. For example, National Grid said the average household bills will go about 64 percent for electricity, compared for last winter, starting on November 1. Meanwhile, Eversource natural gas customers will be paying about 38 percent more starting in January, if approved by state officials.

Western Mass News spoke with State Representative Orlando Ramos, who told us he is working with other lawmakers to try and stop the price hikes.

“In the short term, we have to continue to oppose the rate increases, we have to continue to oppose these proposals from Eversource and look into whether we can offer an alternative,” Ramos explained.

Ramos said these increases will really hurt families.

“This has a huge impact on a lot of people, especially post-COVID…It’s just not fair to the consumer,” Ramos added.

Ramos also said local leaders are looking into what alternatives they can offer the community with the hope that utility companies in the market will eventually start to reduce rates.

Both companies say there are a number of factors that impact the higher rates, including inflation and also the impact of the war in Ukraine. For those needing assistance, there are a number of services available to help curb the cost.