A dramatic increase in the cost of energy is now about to happen.  Eversource, New England's largest utility and the primary supplier of electricity in Eastern Massachusetts and the Southcoast, has filed for a 25% rate increase with state regulators.

The Mass. Department of Public Utilities will have the final say, but in a recent e-mail to its customers, the utility signaled that approval was likely.  Eversource wrote "In Janaury, your electric bill will be higher because of the increased demand for electricity and natural gas." Natural gas is often used to generate electricity in the region's power plants.

The e-mail also stated that customers who use 500 kilowatts of electricity a month "could see a 25 percent or $30 increase in their total bill compared with December."

According to Eversource, the average residential customer paying around $120 a month for electricity, would be paying about $150 in January.

Eversource spokesman William Hinkle told the Boston Globe, "The recent soaring global demand for natural gas has been driving up energy prices everywhere as winter approaches.  Those market conditions are reflected in our recent filing with the DPU. "

Eversource has more than 1 million electricity customers in Massachusetts.

National Grid, the state's other large electricity utility, was granted a similar increase on November 1st.

Both Eversource and National Grid have programs offering discounted rates for low-income households.

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