- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for AG Healey Secures $1.7 Million Rate Reduction for Berkshire Gas Customers
BOSTON — Attorney General Maura Healey announced today that her office has reached an agreement with The Berkshire Gas Company that reduces its proposed distribution rate increase for 40,000 residential, commercial and industrial gas customers by more than $1.7 million and prevents the utility from imposing any other rate increases before November 1, 2025.
The settlement agreement, approved by the Department of Public Utilities, resolves an initial request by Berkshire Gas to increase its net distribution revenue by $7.4 million. Under the settlement reached with the AG’s Office, Berkshire Gas has agreed to reduce its distribution rates by $1.7 million, for a reduced rate increase of $5.7 million. In order to be eligible for the full rate increase, however, Berkshire Gas must hire new safety and reliability employees and make certain investments in its gas distribution system. The company will phase in the reduced rate increase over two years, beginning January 1, 2023, to ease the burden on customers.
“As the ratepayer advocate for the state, my office works to secure safe and reliable service at affordable rates for our residents and businesses,” said AG Healey. “This agreement saves Berkshire Gas customers money on their bills and prevents future rate increases at a time when customers across Massachusetts are struggling with high energy costs.”
Under the agreement, Berkshire Gas will also make a $125,000 payment to the AG’s Office, which will be used to fund or assist in funding programs or initiatives designed to assist consumers in the company’s 20 municipalities in Western and Central Massachusetts with paying or lowering their natural gas bills.
Customers who are struggling to pay their gas bills and looking for immediate help should reach out to their utility company and learn about the financial assistance options available to them including flexible payment programs, which are available regardless of income. In June, the AG’s Office launched a campaign to educate customers across the state about programs that can help them reduce their energy usage and lower their bills. The AG’s Office is the ratepayer advocate for the state and is authorized to intervene in or institute administrative and judicial proceedings on behalf of consumers in connection with any matter involving the rates, charges, prices or tariffs of any Massachusetts gas or electric company.
This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Matthew Saunders of the AG’s Energy and Telecommunications Division.