SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The Massachusetts utility Eversource is proposing raising its rates ahead of the winter season.

The company has submitted a proposal to the Department of Public Utilities for an increase of 5 percent for Basic Service supply rate customers starting Jan. 1.

If approved, the increase would mean customers using an average of 550 kilowatt-hours of electricity will pay $121 each month instead of $115.

Eversource says the higher cost is due to the increased price of natural gas used to create electricity. The company is urging customers to get a home energy assessment to help reduce their bill.

lightbulb electricity Eversource Proposes Winter Rate Increase

Light bulbs. (Photo credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The department is expected to act on the proposal in the coming weeks.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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