Our Blog’s Latest: National Grid’s Proposed Rate Hikes

Rising Utility Rates: The Case for Going Solar

Local utility company, National Grid has proposed significant rate hikes for gas and electricity. These costs prompt concerns among New York residents and provide a compelling case for switching to solar energy. As a solar company, we believe this is a great time for solar solutions to mitigate these rising costs. 

The Proposed Rate Increases

Proposed increases in utility rates, submitted to state regulators, aim to increase a typical residential gas and electric bill by $37 per month (17% hike on an average bill of $216). The National Grid proposal includes a 15% rise in electric rates and a 20% increase in natural gas rates within a one-year plan (1). Although this, rightfully so, feels like a large jump very quickly, looking at past increases, it is extremely unlikely for this rate plan to be accepted exactly as is. 

In a recent article, New York General Counsel, DeCicco, stated, “While we have made every effort to moderate the proposals and resulting bill impacts on our fillings, we are interested in exploring a multi-year rate plan that would allow National Grid to take full advantage of efficiencies and manage bills over multiple years” (4). This plan will still need to be thoroughly reviewed by the New York Department of Public Service. Ultimately, it will likely have some edits before it is enacted. This may alter the specifics of how and/or when customers experience these price changes (3). These increases are usually spread out more over multiple years to lessen the immediate effect. The proposed changes are driven by the need to address inflation, climate change, and aging infrastructure. 

National Grid New York headquarters
National Grid office - Wikipedia

Impact on Consumers

The price hike, currently scheduled to begin in Spring 2025, is expected to raise the average monthly bill by $19 for electricity and $18 for gas (2). While the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has the authority to adjust and decrease these figures, any approved increase will still significantly impact consumers, particularly those in economically disadvantaged regions.  

Solar installation by Kasselman Solar completed in Morris, NY, 2024
Recent Solar Install - Morris, NY

Why the Increase?

These proposed price hikes are initiated to allow National Grid to effectively improve various aspects of their services. Their ultimate goal is to continue improving customers’ experience. National Grid outlined some of the main reasons for the rate hike in a recent article: 

Maintaining Critical Infrastructure: Ensuring the reliability and safety of the energy supply, especially during extreme weather conditions. “Investing approximately $1.7 billion in the electricity grid and $338 million in gas networks across Upstate New York” (4). One specific improvement outlined by National Grid was a focus on replacing older infrastructure. For example, they plan to address old gas pipes prone to leaking and other issues across the state.

Improving Customer Service: Enhancing service quality and support to all customers. This includes adding over 800 jobs over the next few years to provide greater support to gas operations, grid monetization, and direct customer support. There is a strong focus on hiring local employees to these new positions, further supporting local economies (4).

Preparing for the Energy Transition: Upgrading systems to support a transition to cleaner energy sources, aligning with New York’s climate goals.

The Solar Solution

Now is the ideal time for homeowners to get solar with these impending rate hikes. By installing solar panels, you can generate a substantial portion of your energy independently, reducing reliance on the grid, and insulating yourself from future rate increases. While there is still time for changes to occur in this plan before it is enacted approximately a year from now, these rate hikes will not be fully stopped. This just limits the number of changes all at once. Whether the rate hike occurs all at once, or in smaller increments over the next few years, it will still significantly impact your costs.  

This is where going solar now –before the beginning of the rate hikes- can be the best, proactive decision to limit how these increases affect you. After going solar, you will be generating a large portion of the energy you are using, relying less and less on the grid. 

Benefits of Solar Energy
  • Cost Savings: Solar panels can significantly lower your monthly bills, providing a hedge against rising energy costs.
  • Energy Independence: Generate your own electricity and reduce your dependence on the utility grid.
  • Environmental Impact: Reduce your carbon footprint by using clean, renewable energy.
  • Increase Property Value: Homes with solar panels often have higher property values and sell faster. 
Our Approach

Our solar design engineers take into account information such as your current utility bill, roof angle and orientation, shading or tree coverage, and more to design a system which will most closely match your usage. We use advanced LIDAR technology to design an advanced solar system for each customer using only an address and electric bill. Still have questions regarding the solar process? Check out some of our frequently asked questions from other customers here!

What Does this Mean for You?

The proposed rate hikes by National Grid serve as another reason why now might be the right time for you to go solar. By going solar, you can protect yourself from rising energy costs, contribute to a cleaner environment, and gain energy independence. Now is the time to take control of your energy future and invest in solar power. Whether you’re considering solar for your home or business, it can help you take control of your energy costs. 

Even if you don’t use National Grid for your utilities, it is likely these increases will make their way to other companies. Central Hudson, NYSEG, and others have experienced rate hikes in the past, and likely will again in the future. Rising utility rates allow companies to allot more funds to infrastructure improvements, hiring more employees, and more. These improvements will ultimately benefit your experience, however that doesn’t mean you have to keep paying more. Let solar help!

By making the switch, you can save money, but also contribute to a sustainable and resilient energy system. Join us in building a brighter, cleaner future!

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