The English company that supplies electricity to 17 Berkshire County communities will spend the next year explaining why it needs to raise its rates.

The Berkshire Eagle reports National Grid has filed a request with the state Department of Public Utilities to charge residential and commercial customers more starting Nov. 1, 2019.

To secure that increase, the company, still known legally as the Massachusetts Electric Co., must withstand a challenge by the Attorney General's Office and other consumer groups.

If approved as filed, the new rates would increase costs by $4.07 a month for the average residential customer using 600 kilowatt hours of electricity, according to the company's own estimates.

For commercial and industrial users, rates would rise by 0.6 to 4.4 percent, according to the filing.

The request comes roughly two years after Eversource, which serves 209,000 customers throughout Western Massachusetts, sought $34.7 million in rate increases in the region. The request came under fire from both residential and commercial customers. In the end, the DPU cut Eversource's request by 30 percent.

National Grid's last rate increase was granted in 2016.


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