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WMECo Costumers Could See Electric Bills Rise

Press release from Western Massachusetts Electric Co.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Customers of Western Massachusetts Electric Co. are expected to see electric delivery rates decline early in 2012, partially offsetting proposed increases in supply rates for customers who choose to purchase energy supply through WMECo.

There are two main portions of electric bills; delivery and supply. If approved by the Department of Public Utilities, the delivery portion of electric bills should decrease about 3 percent because of proposed declines in transition and transmission charges and the new revenue decoupling mechanism. Overall, bills are expected to increase about 5 percent because of increases in the energy supply rates.

Under Massachusetts law, WMECo is required to procure energy supply, known as basic service, for customers who do not purchase service through a competitive supplier. Basic service is bid twice a year for residential and small commercial and industrial (C&I) customers and four times a year for medium and large commercial customers.

"The most recent competitive bidding process for electric supply is showing at least a temporary increase in the price of electricity after a prolonged period of decline in prices," said Peter Clarke, president and chief operating officer of WMECo. "The increase in price is likely a reflection of seasonality and we encourage customers to shop for a competitive supply price."

From Jan. 1 to June 30, residential customers on basic service will see a supply rate of 7.741 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), compared to 6.998 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for the previous six-month period.

Small C&I customers will see a supply rate of 8.264 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), compared to 7.498 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for the previous six-month period. Both residential and small C&I customers' basic service supply rates change twice a year (in January and July) and remain in effect for six months.

WMECo, a Northeast Utilities company (NYSE:NU), serves approximately 210,000 customers in 59 communities throughout Western Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.wmeco.com.
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