PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Home heating worries have been growing across the country, with the Department of Energy projecting sharp rises in costs this winter, including here in New England.
Starting Tuesday, Rhode Island Energy began charging natural gas customers more to heat their homes.
“If you’re a typical residential heating customer, you will see about, over the course of a year, about a 9.7% increase, which works out to about 90 dollars over the course of a year,” said Todd Bianco of the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission.
The change in natural gas rates comes after Rhode island Energy implemented a 47% hike in electricity rates in October, meaning most customers are paying about $52 more per month.
Bianco told 12 News while it’s typical for winter energy rates to be higher compared to the summer, the amount of change is “anything but standard” this year.
“This is certainly a historic year,” he said. “It’s an unfortunate situation with the market in New England.”
Bianco said there are a number of factors driving the change, but the largest one is likely the war in Ukraine.
In Massachusetts, starting Tuesday, National Grid said most residential electric customers will see a 64% increase in their monthly bill this winter.
While Eversource plans to file its rate change proposal later this month, the company is warning of a potential 40% bill increase due to the tight supply of oil.
“We worry a great deal about electricity supply in this region because it is fueled by natural gas and by oil,” Eversource CEO Joseph Nolan Jr. told WTNH.