State regulators have reduced electric rate increases proposed by Western Massachusetts Electric Co.
The Department of Public Utilities on Monday approved a rate increase of $17 million rather than the $28 million sought.
The DPU said the change will mean a 1.7 percent increase, or about $1.52, in the monthly bill of typical residential customers using 600 kilowatt hours of electricity.
Western Mass Electric, a division of Northeast Utilities, said it sought the increase to improve its system and make service more reliable. The utility said yesterday it had tried to balance customer needs and the economic effect on them, but will go forward “within the framework of the decision.’’
The DPU said the reduced rate increase would still allow the company to make needed investments while spurring energy conservation efforts. The company serves 210,000 customers in 59 communities.