PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island Energy customers will soon see an increase to their natural gas bills.
The R.I. Public Utilities Commission (PUC) announced Friday that it voted to approve rate changes which go into effect on Tuesday, Nov. 1.
The average residential customer will see the cost of gas rise 9.6%, or about $89 annually, according to the PUC. For low-income customers, it will be 5.2%, or about $58 annually.
Customers are already paying an average of $52 more per month for electricity, after the PUC approved a 47% rate increase back in September.
Both rate hikes were proposed by Rhode Island Energy to offset the increased costs to provide the power, the utility said.
The PUC noted, however, that the approved 9.6% increase for natural gas is lower than the 15% hike initially sought by Rhode Island Energy, which would’ve raised the average customer’s annual rate by roughly $167. That’s partly because Rhode Island Energy reviewed its forecast of supply costs which allowed it to slightly lower the rate hike.
In addition, all customers will receive a one-time credit of $64 through a settlement between the attorney general’s office and PPL Corporation over the latter’s purchase of National Grid’s gas and electric operations. The credit will “most likely” be reflected in customers’ November bill, according to the PUC.
The PUC said it was able to further lessen the impact on low-income residents’ bills by ordering Rhode Island Energy to eliminate and defer the cost of the customer charge on their bills for January through March.