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National Grid: Average gas heating bills to rise 10% this winter

The National Grid gas meter in East Islip

The National Grid gas meter in East Islip home. March 26, 2016. Credit: Barry Sloan

National Grid cited higher natural gas prices in projecting average monthly heating bills will increase 10 percent this winter.

Residential customers will see an average $17 jump in their monthly natural gas bill, spokeswoman Wendy Ladd said. Those who use more than 80 units of gas, or therms, per month will see higher increases.

Ladd said most of the increase is the result of higher costs for natural gas, which she said are expected to increase 15 percent during the five-month winter heating period.

Included in the higher winter bills is the second of three state-sanctioned increases in the delivery-rate portion of bills. In January, the delivery charge will increase nearly 8 percent, Ladd said.

New York State last year granted National Grid the ability to hike the delivery rate 9.4 percent this year and 7.7 percent in 2018 and 2019. The increase will allow the London-based company to raise $405.3 million in new revenue from Long Island customers over that time.

This winter’s projected 10 percent increase will include an average $9 jump in the supply portion of bills, and an $8 hike in the delivery charges tied to the rate increase, Ladd said

When National Grid received approval for the rate increase in 2016, it projected customer bills would increase only around 5 percent a year. But that estimate was predicated on natural gas prices remaining steady or declining over the three-year rate period.

Newsday in March reported that rising gas prices were already putting pressure on the company’s plan to limit the increase to its state-approved 5 percent, because rising gas prices by that point had pushed the supply portion of customer bills up 61 percent between December and March.

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