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Price of Power on the way up for WMECo Customers

REGION (WGGB) — As temperatures are heading lower for the winter season, Western Massachusetts Electric customers could soon notice that their electric bills may be heading up.

WMECo spokesperson Sandra Ahearn tells abc40 and FOX 6 that beginning in early 2012, if approved by the state’s Department of Public Utilities, customers should see a decrease in their delivery charges, but at the same time, see an increase in their supply charges.

Ahearn says that the delivery rates should drop about 3% “due to proposed declines in transition and transmission charges and the new revenue decoupling mechanism,” says Ahearn. However, bills should see a 5% increase in their supply charges “due to increases in the energy supply rates,” she adds.

Under state law, Western Mass. Electric is required to get the energy supply for their customers who do not purchase service through a competitive supplier, adds Ahearn.  She notes that this basic service is put out to bid twice a year for residential and small commercial and industrial customers.

Company leaders say that in this latest round of bidding, they are incurring an increase in the price of power.  “The most recent competitive bidding process for electric supply is showing at least a temporary increase in the price of electricity after a prolonged period of decline in prices,” said Peter Clarke, President and Chief Operating Officer of WMECo.

If approved, from January 1 to June 30, 2012, the new basic service rates are expected to break down as follows:

           RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS: 7.741 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), up from 6.998 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh)

           SMALL COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL CUSTOMERS: 8.264 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), up from 7.498 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh)

WMECo notes that basic service rates for both residential and small commercial and industrial customers change twice a year and remain in effect for six months.

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