Public Utilities Commission

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Public Utilities Commission approved a 14 percent rate increase in National Grid electricity rates. The vote was met with anger by residents who attended this  morning's public hearing.

Angry residents repeatedly asked the PUC not to approve the electricity rate hike. Warren resident Joyce Katzberg said she wants publicly-owned utilities that aren’t beholden to corporate interests.

“And for those utilities to be brought to us through clean, safe, and renewable sources, not fracking, not mountaintop removal, and not nuclear power plants,” said Katzberg.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

In a packed hearing room, the state’s Public Utilities Commission listened to testimony for much of the day on National Grid’s proposed 24 percent rate hike.

The increase would kick in January 1st, how long it will last is another matter. The PUC heard testimony both for and against stretching a lower rate out over twelve months as opposed to the requested six months.

Residents will get a chance Tuesday to tell the state’s Public Utilities Commission how they feel about a proposed 24 percent rate hike from National Grid.  If approved, the rate hike would kick in on January 1st .

The state’s Public Utilities Commission will consider a request on Friday to extend the winter moratorium on shutting off utilities.

The George Wiley Center is a non-profit that advocates for the poor. It has asked the PUC to extend the moratorium from April 15th to May 1st. The George Wiley Center’s Debbie Clark said April is just too early to cut off the heat.

More Rhode Islanders have had their gas or electricity shut off so far this year than in all of 2012. That, according to National Grid figures supplied to the state Public Utilities Commission.

In 2012, there were 18,250 shutoffs.  There were seven hundred more than that in the first ten months of this year.

It’s a big concern to advocates for the poor like Debbie Clark of the George Wiley Center.

Pages