WAKEFIELD — Municipal Gas and Light Department customers will not see an increase in their electric bills unless we have an unusually cold winter, according to Manager Pete Dion.
The WMGLD has the ability to enter into long term power purchasing contacts that large utility companies like National Grid cannot. State regulators have approved a 37 percent increase for National Grid household customers this winter that would mean an average of $33 per month more for the typical residential customer.
The cost for a typical household with National Grid electricity could top $150 a month. National Grid has almost 1.3 million electric customers in Massachusetts.
The utility says the rate hikes are out of its control and blame them on the cost of buying electricity from power plants, which have soared because of an increased demand for natural gas used to generate electricity.
The state’s other major utilities have not yet determined their winter rates but they are expecting steep price hikes.
Dion said the larger utilities aren’t allowed to sign long term purchasing contracts like the municipally-owned utilities. He said Wakefield customers’ rates should be locked in for the winter.