Electricity consumption on the rise
Eversource raises average usage number to 600 kWh
EVERSOURCE ENERGY says the average monthly electricity usage of its typical customer is now 600 kilowatt hours, up from the 500 kilowatt-hour estimate the company has used for years.
The change showed up on a recent press release detailing the firm’s basic service rates for this summer. Michael Durand, an Eversource spokesman, said the average usage had been above 500 kilowatt-hours for some time, but the company continued to use the old figure so customers could continue to make apples-to-apples price comparisons with previous years.
Durand said Eversource decided to up the average usage to 600 kilowatt-hours to better reflect actual usage. He said the average usage varies slightly across the company’s service territory, noting the average customer in the Greater Boston area uses an average of 600 kilowatt-hours a month, while customers on the South Shore and in the New Bedford area average 584 kilowatt-hours.
The higher number for average usage comes at a time when electricity consumption is being watched closely by state policymakers who are trying to match electricity demand and production as a number of coal and nuclear plants prepare to shut down.
Eversource buys electricity from power generators and passes on the cost directly to customers who choose the company’s basic service option. In its press release, the company said its basic service price for the six-month period starting July 1 will be 8.2 cents a kilowatt hour, which compares to the current rate of 10.8 cents and last summer’s rate of 10 cents.Even as the price of electricity is declining, Eversource said bill charges for statewide energy efficiency programs will be going up by just over 1 cent a kilowatt hour, adding $6.26 to the average monthly bill.
The combined effect of the lower price for electricity and the higher charge for energy efficiency programs will cause the bill of the average customer in Greater Boston to fall from $129.89 to 120.34, a drop of 7.4 percent.