Massachusetts AG Secures $1.5 Million in Payback to National Grid Gas Customers
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced on October 12 that her office has negotiated an agreement with National Grid that returns more than $1.5 million to thousands of the utility’s residential gas customers who were wrongfully charged a more expensive rate.
Under the agreement, National Grid will issue bill credits to more than 4,500 ratepayers statewide who were incorrectly charged the company’s non-heating rate instead of the less-expensive heating rate. Credit amounts will be customer-specific and issued later this year.
“As the ratepayer advocate for Massachusetts, we want to ensure that utilities are not overcharging their customers,” said AG Healey. “With this agreement, thousands of customers who paid too much for their gas usage will receive the credit they deserve, and National Grid will take additional measures to help prevent this in the future.”
Some National Grid gas customers use gas to heat their homes. Other customers do not heat their homes with gas, but buy gas for cooking or other non-heating purposes. The rate the customer pays depends on how the customer is using the gas.
Residential customers who use gas to heat their homes (the residential heating class) generally use more gas and pay a less expensive rate than customers who do not use gas heating (the residential non-heating class). The agreement negotiated by AG Healey involves certain National Grid residential heating customers who were incorrectly charged the more expensive non-heating rate.
In addition to the customer credits, the agreement requires National Grid to improve its processes going forward to ensure that customers are charged the correct rate. The company will update the information it provides customers about different rate classes and establish a process to confirm whether new customers will be using gas for heating or not.
Customers who believe that they are not being charged the correct rate should contact their gas company to obtain additional information and confirm that they are in the correct rate class.