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National Grid rate increase

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Nicole Gerber


From power to heat, gas to electric... National Grid takes care of most of Rhode Island's energy.

Friday, the Public Utilities Commission approved a rate increase of 12.1% for its customers.

The rate increase means that customers will see a rise of about $9.53 in their monthly bill.
The average Rhode Island home, which typically has about a $79 bill, will go up to around $89.

For some, even that much of a hike, makes a big difference.

"I think people on a fixed income are going to be most affected by it. Especially people now with this economy. They can't really afford any type of raises," said Marie from Glocester.

"It will actually make an impact because... every dollar that you can save would be great," said Michael Phillips from Providence.

The rate increase comes as the price of energy rises, due to a restraint on gas pipelines in our region.

"There's only so much natural gas that you can get into New England and there's been an increase in the demand for natural gas for electricity generation... as a result, the generation has to come from some other sources... and that's in large part why it's more expensive," said Thomas Kogut,Associate Admin. at the PUC.

While most customers aren't thrilled with having to pay more out of pocket each month, many have accepted the reasoning behind the increase.

"Well it doesn't make me happy obviously, who wants to pay more, but I mean I guess if it's something that's beyond their control..." said Beth Adamo with a shrug.

"There isn't really all that much you can do, so it's something that I will be able to pay, but I'll be angry about it, and then I'll forget about it," said Aaron Lasker of Providence.

Though some have their own ideas on how to fix the problem...

"Alternative energy is really where we have to go. New sources of bad fuel is not what we need," said Lucy Hitchcock.

National Grid meets with the PUC every six months to discuss rates.

(c) WLNE-TV 2013



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