PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With the colder weather on the way, Rhode Islanders are going to see an increase in their electricity bill come next month.

Rhode Island Energy proposed new electric rates back in July and the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted to approve the changes on Tuesday.

Under the new rate, the average residential household will see their monthly utility bill jump by $32.29, which is an increase of more than 24%.

The new 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.

The rise in residential and commercial electricity rates has shot up over the last four years, and PUC Board Chairman Ron Gerwatowski said people should expect this to be typical in the next three to five years.

“We are very troubled by the size of the increase and in impact the increase is likely to have on customers who take last resort services this winter,” Gerwatowski said during the voting meeting.

In response to the rate hikes, Gov. Dan McKee announced he is taking action to provide relief for winter heating costs.

Those include the state’s suspension of the gross earning tax this winter, as well as the state setting aside $3 million that will be used to help an estimated 38,000 low-income customers take off about $26 per month over a three-month period.

The new rate begins Sunday, Oct. 1, and is in place through March 2024. Both the relief for low-income households and the pause on the utility tax will start in December.

“We know that any increase in electric rates will impact all Rhode Islanders,” McKee said. “We’re committed to continue funding ways to lower costs for residents across our state.”