Natural gas customers to see 10% price drop


Staff Writer

Published: 03-02-2023 6:22 PM

Gas supply rates for Eversource Gas of Massachusetts and Boston Gas Company (National Grid) customers have once again been reduced, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities announced Tuesday.

“We’re happy that customers will see some rate relief due to the decrease in the price of natural gas,” National Grid spokesperson John Lamontagne wrote in an email. “National Grid recognizes that increased costs of energy have created real challenges for many customers, so we’re pleased that the supply cost of natural gas is declining.”

“We know how frustrated our customers already are with high prices for many daily, basic needs,” added Eversource spokesperson Priscilla Ress.

Lowered gas supply rates went into effect on March 1 and will last until May 1, according to the DPU. The decreases will result in an average monthly bill decrease of about 10% for a typical residential heating customer. This change, according to the DPU, “is attributable to updated forecasts in customer usage and the market-based price of natural gas over the course of the winter period.”

National Grid and Eversource previously lowered their gas supply rates effective Feb. 1, 2023, and Dec. 1, 2022, respectively.

“For customers who rely on natural gas for heating and cooking, the natural gas supply price in Massachusetts changes twice per year, with the peak season beginning on Nov. 1 and the off-peak season on May 1,” Ress wrote in an email. “However, a change in the natural gas supply price is triggered when the supply cost of natural gas fluctuates by more than 5%, which under law requires an adjustment so as to not over or under-charge customers. This month, that threshold was reached for our customers in the former Columbia Gas territory.”

“We’re glad to see continued reductions in natural gas prices, and we will continue to seek out ways to deliver relief to our residents,” Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper said in a statement. “These volatile gas prices underscore the importance of Massachusetts’ transition to clean and affordable energy.”

Both Eversource and National Grid representatives stressed that energy companies cannot legally profit off of energy distribution.

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“The cost of natural gas supply is passed through to customers with no mark-up,” Lamontagne wrote. “You pay what we pay. The cost of delivery of gas has not changed.”

Ress said while a reduction in rates is “definitely good news,” the markets remain in flux “and the future price of natural gas remains uncertain.”

“Energy efficiency is still the key to getting our energy bills lower,” she emphasized. “Right now, the markets are so volatile that we don’t really know where prices are going, and that’s why it’s so crucial to take advantage of [energy-saving] measures.”

Resources for helping customers struggling with their utility bills are available on the DPU’s webpage. The public also can call 211 to learn about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which pays for a portion of household energy costs in the winter.

“We highly encourage customers who may need help paying their bill to take advantage of the many assistance programs available,” Ress wrote, “and we are ready to work with all customers one-on-one to connect them with payment options and bill assistance programs.”

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-930-4231 or