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Electric bills to drop for some; National Grid seeks rate cut.

Byline: Andi Esposito

WESTBORO - Customers who buy electricity from National Grid will pay an average of $7.28 less per month beginning May 1 compared with their existing bills, under a filing for power supply rates made yesterday by the utility with state regulators.

If approved by the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy, the new rates would lower the bill of a typical customer using 500 kilowatt hours of electricity per month by 8.4 percent, or $7.28, to $79.45, said National Grid.

But customers will pay more per kilowatt hour than they did last summer.

Under the new rate, the cost will be 10.21 cents per kilowatt hour, up from 9.69 cents per kilowatt hour in effect from May 1 to Oct. 31, 2006. Almost 1 cent of the new rate reflects an auction system that took effect Dec. 1, 2006, and is designed to increase New England's power supply by encouraging new plants to be built.

Customers currently pay 11.67 cents per kilowatt hour through April 30, a rate in effect since Nov. 1, 2006.

About 1.2 million customers buy power from National Grid. National Grid has about 44,000 customers, including 20,000 residential customers who get their power from a competitive supplier and will not be affected by the rate change.

Under regulatory guidelines, every six months National Grid buys half its wholesale power needs for the following 12 months through competitive bidding. The company doesn't generate power and the wholesale price it pays for power is passed directly through to customers without markup.

National Grid, the U.S.-based operations of National Grid PLC in the United Kingdom, transmits and distributes electricity and natural gas to 4 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island.

Contact business editor Andi Esposito by e-mail at aesposito@telegram.com.
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Title Annotation:BUSINESS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Mar 23, 2007
Words:311
Previous Article:Regional digest.
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