Unitil to drop rates May 1

Customers of Unitil will see an electric rate decrease on May 1, the Hampton-based utility announced Tuesday.

Competitive contract negotiation led to the lower wholesale electricity prices, which Unitil will pass along to customers, the utility said.

Under the new deal, a customer using an average 500 kWh per month will see their bills decrease from $84.72 to $76.23, or 10 percent.

Small to medium-sized business customers will see rates lower by about 6 percent to 10 percent, depending on rate class and usage. Unitil’s rates are adjusted every six months when new supply contracts are negotiated.

Large business customers that take default service energy supply from Unitil will see bill reductions of about 15 percent, however, the company said most of Unitil’s large business customers are buying retail electricity supplies directly on the competitive market.

Default service prices for large business customers change monthly based on new supply contracts that are procured on a quarterly basis.

Purchases are conducted through competitive bids under the supervision of state regulators with the goal of providing the lowest available prices to customers.

“Record-high market prices for electricity supply have abated somewhat, which is good news for our customers,” said Mark Lambert, Unitil’s director of customer service. “Conservation continues to be the best strategy for customers in controlling their energy bills, and we are seeing evidence that our customers are doing just that.” — CINDY KIBBE

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