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National Grid Electricity Prices Rose 64% Last Night. Here’s What You Can Do

At midnight, National Grid’s new gas and electricity rates that were approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities took effect. Electricity costs will be 64% higher, on average, than they were last winter. Natural gas prices are also expected to rise about 22%.

Tewksbury residents do have another option. The town contracts with Constellation NewEnergy for its Community Choice Power Supply Program. Constellation will provide electric power for all residents and businesses that opt in. You can check your electric and gas bill to determine if your supplier is already Constellation New Energy.

Besides saving money. the Community Choice Power Supply Program helps increase the creation and use of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, across New England.

“We do have a Community Choice power rate for residents to take advantage of, which is 10.9 cents,” said Town Manager Richard Montuori. “I believe National Grid rates, we’re looking at 33.89 cents. So residents who are already in that [Community Choice] plan will be fine. But those who may have opted out or are unaware of it should go on the town’s website under the Town Manager section and opt in. We’ll be doing a mailing to residents about this to let them know, but that’s a significant difference for residents to take advantage of.”

Montuori advises that there are no enrollment, early termination or cancellation fees attached to the Tewksbury Community Choice electricity program. Residents who opt-out can also opt-in at a later date at no cost. However, anyone switching from a contract with a third-party supplier may be subject to penalties or early termination fees charged by that supplier.

National Grid has several programs to help income-eligible families and customers needing special assistance meet their energy needs as well as programs to make homes more energy efficient.

Lorna is a 25-year resident of Tewksbury who has written for organizations ranging from the DIA to InformationWeek to a free weekly in New London that sent her to interview the pastry chef at Foxwoods.

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