BOSTON (CBS) — National Grid customers should expect to pay much more for electricity this winter, the utility company has announced.

If a rate hike request is approved by state regulators, the average residential customer will get an electric bill that is 37-percent higher than last winter for the same amount of electricity used, National Grid said.

Higher supply prices are to blame for the steep hike, company officials said.

A request was recently filed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to raise the rates.

If the request is approved, the typical customer will pay about $33 more on monthly bills from November to April compared to the same period last year, National Grid said. The increase will be noticed in the “Supply Services” section of the bill.

“With the chance of another cold winter on the way, National Grid is very concerned about what higher energy costs mean for our customers,” Marcy Reed, president of National Grid in Massachusetts, said in a statement. “Though we can’t control power supply prices, we can help our customers in other ways, which is why we urge Massachusetts residents to take full advantage of energy efficiency and payment programs that can help lower their bills.”

For bigger commercial and industrial customers, the sticker shock will be even worse.

The hike would amount to about a 75-percent increase, with an average monthly jump of about $19,000.

“The anticipated basic service rate increases for electricity customers highlight the need for our continued aggressive investments in efficiency and a diverse energy mix to maintain energy price stability,” the state’s energy office said in a statement. “As the winter season approaches, the Patrick Administration is working with utilities to provide Massachusetts residents and businesses with the information they need, including weatherization tips, energy efficiency ideas and how to get assistance with utility bills.”

Natural gas customers will likely see a decrease in monthly bills of about $2 to $5 thanks to a credit the company is passing on to customers through reduced delivery charges.

National Grid is encouraging customers to do more to lower their energy usage, through steps like lowering the thermostat between six and nine degrees while sleeping. Other company programs for energy efficiency can be seen here.


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