National Grid says most customers can expect 4.5% surcharge during winter season

National Grid says most customers can expect 4.5% surcharge during winter season (WRGB)

ALBANY, NY (WRGB)---National Grid says most customers can expect to pay an extra 4.5% this year during the winter payment season which begins November 1st, and lasts through the end of March.

Niskayuna resident Anthony Popolizio is getting his home ready for winter. He's well aware his utility bill is about to go up, and he's not happy.

“It’s like when is enough, enough?” Popolizio said.

The increase is something you'll want to think about anytime you turn on the heat. The utility company says the increase has nothing to do with electricity, and everything to do with gas.

National Grid Communications Representative Nathan Stone says it's because the cost of gas is up 6% compared to last year.

“We have no control over the cost of what gas is, that's completely determined by the market,” Stone said.

The other reason, he says customers used more gas than expected last winter.

“People actually used more gas than what we forecasted for, so we're collecting that this year,” Stone said.

As Popolizzio gets his yard ready for snow and ice, he's already making plans to keep his family's heating costs down, and he's hoping this temporary increase will be the last for some time.

“If we have a bad winter it could be an impact for a lot of people,” Popolizzio said.

National Grid customers could be in for another increase as soon as this temporary surcharge ends.

National Grid has applied for a rate hike that would last at least a year. The Public Service Commission will decide whether to approve it at the end of March.

Right now, National Grid and the PSC are negotiating on what the possible rate hike would be.

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