PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Islanders may see an increase in their electricity bill come October.
Rhode Island Energy met with the R.I. Division of Public Utilities and Carriers (PUC) on Wednesday to discuss a possible change in the electric rate.
Under the proposed rate, the average residential household would see their monthly utility bill jump by $32.29 starting next month.
The rate hike was initially proposed in July, when some residents spoke out during a public hearing.
“Please please do not raise rates again on your Rhode Island citizens,” one resident pleaded.
The proposed rate of 17.74 cents per kilowatt hour is a significant increase from the rate that was in effect over the summer (10.3 cents per kilowatt hour) but it’s slightly lower than last winter’s rate of 17.79 cents per kilowatt hour.
If approved, the new rate would be in place through March 2024.
PUC Chairman Ronald Gerwatowski said there are two rate mitigation initiatives that could help Rhode Islanders save on their bills this winter. First, the gross earning tax on winter bills was suspended, and the state also set aside $3 million that will be used to help low-income customers.
However, Special Assistant for the Attorney General Nicholas Vaz said if the rate hike goes into effect, it will have a major impact on residents.
“Increased cost for essential utilities can leave the people of Rhode Island faced with heartbreaking decisions that no one should have to make,” he said.
The final vote on the new rates will likely happen next week.