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Break for NA customers


NORTH ATTLEBORO -- North Attleboro Electric customers will get another break on their electric bills in April.

Electric commissioners voted Wednesday to reduce an energy surcharge for the second month in a row, lowering the cost of the surcharge for the average residential customer to $10.49 from $12.95.

The surcharge, known as a purchased power adjustment, was put into effect in January to offset increased fuel costs. At that time, it cost the average customer $16.15 -- a 28 percent increase on monthly electric bills, and the town-owned utility's first rate increase in more than two years.

The surcharge has been reduced by $5.66 the past two months as the prices in the volatile fuel market have come down.

As fuel costs drop, so does the cost of generating electricity at the plants from which North Attleboro Electric purchases its power.

"We should continue to take a look at the price of fossil fuels in the next couple of months to see if we can move it down some more," Electric Commissioner Richard Shaw said. With the rate reduction, the average customer using 500 kilowatt hours of electricity each month would pay a bill of $67.94. That's down $2.46 or 3 percent from March bills.
In April, rates will have dropped about 7 percent from the rate increase that was set in January.

General Manager James Moynihan said North Attleboro Electric's rates remain competitive and are lower than those charged by private utilities.

He said NStar charges $106.56 for 500 kilowatt hours of electricity and National Grid charges $81.21 for the same amount of energy.