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Regional News

Eversource Looks To Ease Western Mass. Rate Increases

Eversource crews get ready for a winter storm in March, 2017.
Don Treeger
/
The Republican
Eversource crews get ready for a winter storm in March, 2017.

The electric company Eversource said it's looking to lessen the burden of a proposed rate increase on its western Massachusetts residents. The utility had called for about a 10 percent hike next year.

Elected officials, business leaders and the public have been crying foul over the proposed increase, saying not only was it exorbitant -- but also unfair when compared to the smaller increase customers in eastern Massachusetts would pay.

The reason from Eversource? Fewer customers in the west to shoulder the region's operating deficit.

Company spokesperson Priscilla Ress said the utility took the criticism to heart.

"We look at that and say, 'Why not take that entire customer base and why not spread the cost out so that the folks in western Mass. aren't impacted quite as heavily?'" Ress said.

The increase, still set at a total of $96 million, needs approval from the state's Department of Public Utilities.

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