Eversource customers brace for increased rates
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -Thee new year brought on increased rates for Eversource customers. Now people are bracing for those bills to come in.
These rate hikes have left many people in the bay state frustrated with Eversource. We spoke with State Representative Orlando Ramos to see if any changes have been made at the state level to assist people with the higher costs.
“I think it’s just another way to push the middle-class economy down,” said Mauriz Dukes of Chicopee.
The new year has brought on new rate increases for Eversource customers, creating a financial burden for some.
“Something definitely needs to be done,” said Dukes.
At the end of 2022, Eversource announced that new rates would be in effect for the first 6 months of 2023, increasing the average customer’s monthly bill by 23%. in western Mass., they said bills would rise on average of $39.09 per month.
Western Mass News spoke with State Representative Orlando Ramos. He said at the state level, they are continuing their conversations with Eversource to change this rate increase.
“Eversource has taken advantage of people particularly the low-income folks and people on fixed incomes deserve affordable energy,” he said. “We have met with Eversource multiple times and each time their explanation for the rate increases continues to change it really isn’t an explanation that makes sense to me because Eversource is continuing to make record profits every year that goes by and they still continue to raise the rates.”
We reached out to Eversource for comment. Spokesperson Prisilla Ress said factors that are contributing to the higher costs. She said in a statement in part:
“…Regional electric supply prices have reached all-time highs due to increased global demand for and the high cost of natural gas, the war in Ukraine, extreme weather and other issues.”
Ress also said the company met with leaders from Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire earlier this week. She said in a statement:
“...We participated in an informational hearing organized by DPU to help regulators understand the differences in the procurement process in each state, and we will continue working with stakeholders across the region to support our customers and mitigate the impacts of high energy supply costs.”
Meanwhile Representative Ramos is also encouraging people in western Mass. to take advantage of fuel assistance programs this winter.
“We have done whatever we can at the state level to try and make it affordable to try and create more programs for people to apply to save on their energy costs but there needs to be more done on the federal level to keep costs down because it’s getting out of hand,” Ramos said.
A of fuel assistance programs available in your area can be found here.
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