Some National Grid customers may see delay in Oct. bills

Recorder Staff
Published: 10/27/2016 10:28:00 PM

If you’re a National Grid customer and wondering where your latest bill is, you’re not alone.

The multinational electricity and gas utility company has announced some electric bills for October have been delayed while its billing system is updated with new electricity distribution prices approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. This delay will result in some customers’ November bill arriving soon after their October bill, making the due dates for payment in close proximity to each other.

According to Danielle Williamson, a National Grid spokeswoman for Massachusetts, the company has 1.3 million electric customers in the state and had to hold billing for roughly 885,000.

The company’s website states all bill due dates are determined by when the bill is produced, so customers have the same number of days to pay as if the bill was produced on schedule. Answers to questions about the delay can be found at http://ngrid.com/2ekFyrm.

Late payment charges are based on the bill due date, which could be later than usual because of the delay. As a result, late payment charges would not be applied unless payment is not made before the bill due date has passed. Recurring payments online are set by the customer and will be deducted as scheduled.

Orange resident Kathy Reinig said she is on National Grid’s automatic withdrawal system and noticed money was not deducted from her account on the scheduled day or in the days after. She said she visited National Grid’s website and learned about the delay. She said it will not affect her finances and she is relieved she did not misplace a bill.

Reinig, the chairwoman of the Orange Board of Selectmen, runs a data analysis company out of her West Main Street home and said her business and home usage get billed together.

Heather Brissette, the administrative assistant for the Athol Board of Selectmen, said the town’s and her personal National Grid bills have been delayed.

According to National Grid, negotiated payment plan customers whose October bill is delayed will have a new due date for their delayed October bill only. Billing dates and payment due dates return to the original negotiated agreement in November.

National Grid reportedly communicates with alternate suppliers when the bill is produced and this communication could be delayed. But the company reports this was previously discussed with the suppliers.

In November 2015, National Grid submitted to the state Department of Public Utilities a proposal for new electricity distribution prices to better reflect the cost of delivering electricity to its customers. According to National Grid’s website, the DPU conducted a thorough review process and issued its decision on Sept. 30. The new prices took effect on Oct. 1.

National Grid explains the company’s last rate increases took effect in early 2010 and the costs of providing service to customers have since increased significantly. The update in base electricity distribution prices will result in an approximately 7 percent bill increase for residential customers. Supply prices, the portion of the bill the company does not control and passes to customers at cost, are set to change on Nov. 1. A slight decrease in winter supply prices this winter will result in a roughly 5 percent total bill decrease, year over year, according to the company.

National Grid is headquartered in Warwick, England.




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