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A Hummel Report Investigation

An Uneasy Adjustment

A huge increase in National Grid’s electric rates late last year has prompted some customers to shop around for a better deal. And with a handful of alternate power companies there are options available. But a Pawtucket man found out the hard way: there may be some unexpected charges that come with a change.

If you want to see what the Rhode PUC says about the billing adjustment, click here.

SCRIPT

A huge increase in National Grid’s electric rates has prompted some customers to shop around for a better deal. And why not? With a handful of alternate power supply companies out there, there are some options. But one Pawtucket man found out the hard way: there may be some unexpected charges with the change.
Rzepecki: ``I decided was going to switch over…’’
Like many National Grid customers Larry Rzepecki got a letter from North American Power offering cheaper electricity - and reminding him about the substantial rate increase the state approved for National Grid late last year.
Rzepecki who is retired and has two electric meters for his house in Pawtucket, thought it sounded like a pretty good deal.
Rzepecki: ``I agreed to a contract for one year at a rate of 8.99 cents kilowatt hour, versus 10. 72 (cents) which is only a savings of about 1.73 cents per kilowatt hours, but roughly in the vicinity of $10 to $20 per meter.’’
Everything was going well until he got a bill from National Grid two months after the switch.
Rzepecki: ``And when I got the bill I kind of flipped out and started calling National Grid.’’
Rzepecki had received what is called a standard offer billing adjustment. In his case it was $136.35 for one of his meters and $86.78 for another, totaling $223.13.

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