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WMECo Proposes 4.5 Percent Rate Increase for First Half of 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – Western Mass. Electric customers may see a slight uptick in their electric bills of about four and a half percent after the beginning of the year.

Friday, the company filed an application with the state requesting a small increase in their electric supply prices after the first of the year. This increase would effect customers that get power via WMECo’s “Basic Service Option.”

The average customer, using 500 kilowatt hours per month, will see their bill go up from $79.19 per month to $82.71.

If it’s approved by the state’s Department of Public Utilities, the rate change would be about 0.7 cents per kilowatt hour, from the current 6.733 cents per hour to 7.437 cents, and last for six months.

Massachusetts law says that the “Basic Service” price can change twice a year, on January 1 and July 1.

The requested increase is in response to an increase WMECo is incurring from their electricity suppliers, due to an increase in the cost of natural gas. That cost is passed directly onto consumers, “with no profit to WMECo,” the company says in a statement.

The company is also using the opportunity to remind customers of steps to keep their homes energy efficient during these cold months. Customers can visit their website for more information.

No word on when the Department of Public Utilities will decide on the request.

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