READING, MA — As temperatures rise this summer, Reading Municipal Light Department (RMLD) is alerting customers to an increase in their electric bills. This price increase is due to seasonal usage increases as well as higher power supply costs. Below please find a detailed explanation of the reason for this cost increase and how it will impact RMLD customers.
When comparing your electric bill by month, you’ll likely notice your bills are highest in the summer. This is mostly due to cooling costs. If you have an electric pool pump, you can expect a steeper increase because of their significant energy usage. Here is a graph that illustrates the seasonal fluctuations in customer electricity bills:
One way you can help keep energy costs down in the summer months and all year round is to conserve electricity at peak times, when power costs are more expensive. Learn more about RMLD’s Shred the Peak program here.
Power Supply Costs
RMLD is committed to providing customers with the lowest electricity rates possible. RMLD actively manages its power supply, and nearly 90 percent of its power supply costs have been previously locked in under fixed medium-to long-term contracts. The remaining 10 percent of RMLD’s power supply is purchased daily and is subjected to increases due to outside global factors. These power supply costs are adjusted monthly for actual costs, and are passed through to customers without markup. More information on monthly power supply costs can be found on our website.
Natural gas accounted for 64 percent of the fuel mix in June for ISO New England, which is responsible for RMLD’s energy generation and transmission. Natural gas prices are up 130 percent in 2022 compared to last year, and pricier natural gas leads to more expensive electricity.
The Good News
Despite record inflation and gas prices, RMLD customers can expect an average 12% increase in their 2022 bill compared to 2021. This averages out to a $15 increase across 12 months. While we recognize that any price increase presents a challenge to our customers, our active power supply management and position as a not-for-profit public utility has mitigated this increase and kept it below the national average. RMLD offers payment assistance options for customers, which can be found on our website.
Thank you to our customers for your understanding during this challenging time. RMLD will continue to work on power supply costs every day to fulfill the RMLD mission of reliability, low cost, and non-carbon energy for the customers that we serve in Lynnfield, North Reading, Reading, and Wilmington.