How should the state respond to Rhode Island Energy’s request to raise winter electric rates by $50 per month?

RHODE ISLAND ENERGY has proposed increasing winter electricity rates by an average of $50 a month beginning Oct. 1. /COURTESY PPL CORP.

Blaming rising demand for natural gas, inflation and the war in Ukraine, Rhode Island Energy has proposed raising winter electric rates by an average of $50 per month beginning Oct. 1.

The R.I. Public Utilities Commission is reviewing the proposal and has already heard concerns, including from Gov. Daniel J. McKee.

In a letter, McKee urged regulators to require the utility to suspend a $6 monthly charge for residential customers. He also called for spreading out the rate increase over a full year and giving credits to ratepayers during the six months of winter rates to reduce the requested increase.

The R.I. Office of the Attorney General has called the proposed rate hikes “significant and alarming.”

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