The year 2014 will unfortunately start with a 12 percent increase in monthly electric bills for Rhode Island National Grid residential customers. The rate hike, approved by the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission on Dec. 20, will cover an increase in the price of electricity that National Grid purchases for its customers.
“This is the highest increase that has been seen in quite awhile,” said Thomas F. Kogut, chief of information at the RI Division of Public Utilities. “Recently, the price has been decreasing.”
This increase comes as part of a twice-yearly adjustment occurring in January and July. This particular adjustment is the result of the change in the rate of electricity from 6.35 cents per kilowatt-hour to 8.55 cents per kilowatt-hour.
“Unfortunately this increase is driven by market forces we cannot control,” said Timothy F. Horan, president of National Grid in Rhode Island.
Kogut explained that the fixed rate adjusted every six months is there to protect residential customers from volatile shifts in the price of electricity from day to day.
National Grid purchases electricity and then sells it directly to the customers, collecting no profit. National Grid does not create electricity and has no control over the price of it.