Why your National Grid plan could vastly affect your bill
13 Investigates has been looking into the sharp increases in electric bills and there is new information to share.
If you have National Grid, it turns out the size of the increase can depend on the type of plan you have.
If you have the Time of Use rate, you could be paying hundreds of dollars more.
Basically, it charges different rates for different times of the day.
The goal is to save money, but this big rate increase for the customer across New York has changed that.
That’s the case for Roy Schult in Granville. He’s on a fixed income.
This rate increase has him paying nearly double over last month’s bill. His bill from December to January is almost $358 and his current bill is almost $700.
Schult said his usage was up, but not by that much.
National Grid said customers who have Time of Use are usually people who use a lot of electricity, especially at times of the day when most people are not.
Those customers are seeing the actual market rate for electricity by the hour. They are paying a lower rate during hours when there is not a lot of electric use.
Schult said he has always saved money, until now.
"National Grid was the one who told me to get this meter because I use so much electric heat. My house has electric heat," he said. "It has in the past because most of my electricity I use at nighttime."
Even Patrick Stella, a National Grid spokesman, called the spike shocking.
"In the first 12 months, all of them saw a saving over what they would have paid if they were not on the Time of Use," Stella said. "Those Time of Use customers have a reason to be on that rate. It does work for them. This is just a very atypical scenario at this particular moment in time."
Most customers will not see a spike-like Schult. They are locked into a fixed rate by National Grid.
There are only about 700 Time of Use customers in upstate New York.
So what do you do if you are one of those customers?
National Grid said if you have had the Time of Use rate for more than 12 months, you could just take it off your plan and move to a regular, fixed rate. However, if you are still within your first year on the rate, you are stuck. So what do you do then?
National Grid said to call them. There are ways they can help you with your bill, and that goes for any customers whose unsure if they can pay their current bills after the increase.