08 Jun With Significant Electrical Rate Increase on the Horizon, More Consumers are Switching to Solar
It’s not a joke, and not at all funny. National Grid is asking the Public Service Commission to raise its residential electricity delivery prices beginning April 1, 2018.
If the rate hike is approved, the average National Grid customer would see their monthly bill increase by $11.23 a month! The company says it needs the money to make infrastructure investments.
National Grid is also proposing increases in monthly electricity bills for commercial customers—as high as $10.01 per month.
According to a recent article in The Buffalo News, “The bills that consumers pay National Grid for their electric service are broken down into two parts. The smallest portion is for the actual cost of the electricity, which the utility passes on to consumers at cost. The bigger portion of a typical consumer’s bill is for the delivery charge, which is what National Grid has proposed increasing by 22 percent.”
An article on Syracuse.com summed it up this way: “A 10 percent bill increase would raise the cost of heat and lights by $180 a year or more for a typical household, according to the utility’s data.” Still, the rate request comes as increasing numbers of National Grid customers are struggling to pay their bills. “The utility shut off more than 66,000 customers for nonpayment in both 2015 and 2016, the highest rate of terminations in at least a decade,” the online publication reports.
The National Grid proposal must still be reviewed by the New York Public Service Commission.
“Like any other corporation, utility companies are bound by their investors to do everything they can to maximize profits,” said Alicia Uebelhoer, co-owner of Buffalo Solar Solutions Inc. “One of our new customer’s recently reviewed their $167 monthly electric bill and discovered that their electrical usage for the month was just $72. Incredibly, they had to pay nearly $95 for the delivery of the product, and still the utility company isn’t satisfied with the fact that Western New Yorkers are already paying some of the highest energy rates in the nation!”
“Customers making the switch to solar energy are discovering that they simply do not need a utility company to produce—or deliver—their electricity,” said Buffalo Solar Solutions co-owner Tyler Uebelhoer. “In fact, when the solar equipment has been paid off, the solar consumer is only responsible for paying a basic hook-up fee which is currently $15 to $17 a month. And when your solar panels generate more solar energy than you use, the excess electricity gets fed back into the utility grid, providing you with cumulative credits.”
“Utility rates will just continue to climb, which is why more people are now turning to solar than ever before,” added Alicia Uebelhoer.
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