Mass. regulators approve reduced utility rate hike
State utilities regulators have reduced electric rate hike increases proposed by Western Massachusetts Electric Co.
The Department of Public Utilities approved a rate hike of $17 million rather than the $28 million sought.
The DPU says the change will mean a 0.4 percent increase in the monthly electric bill of a typical residential customer using 600 kilowatt hours of electricity.
WMECO, a division of Northeast Utilities, said it sought the hike to improve its system and make service more reliable. WMECO said it had tried to balance customer needs and the economic impact on them, but will go forward "within the framework of the decision."
The DPU says the reduced hike would still allow the company to make needed investments while spurring energy conservation efforts. The company serves 210,000 customers in 59 communities.