- Associated Press - Monday, September 21, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts residents who heat their homes with natural gas are expected to see lower bills this winter after two of the state’s major utilities filed for lower winter rates on Monday.

Eversource Energy submitted a gas supply rate that’s 31 percent lower than last year. That could save a typical customer who uses natural gas for heating, cooking and hot water about $30 per month to an average of about $140, the company said.

Bill Akley, president of Gas Operations for Eversource, said customers will be paying less for natural gas this year thanks to a drop in regional supply prices.

National Grid, meanwhile, has proposed rates that would save the typical residential natural gas customer up to $7 per month.

The utility said an anticipated drop in the cost of natural gas along with a credit that reconciles the cost difference between gas purchased last year and what customers were billed are both contributing to the lower price proposal.

The National Grid proposals are offset by an increase in the cost of some services, including energy efficiency programs and gas system enhancements.

If approved by the state Department of Public Utilities, the new rates would take effect on Nov. 1.

National Grid has about 900,000 natural gas customers in Massachusetts, while Eversource has about 300,000.

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