Electricity rates will increase about 16% on Jan. 1, but down significantly from same period last year

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NEW BRITAIN — There’s good news and bad news for electric customers as winter approaches.

The good news: Residential and business customers taking Standard Service generation rates will pay around 25% less for electricity as the same time last year. Standard Service rates apply to the electricity a customer uses.

The bad news is that even with those savings, the cost of a kilowatt hour will go up 16% from the summer rates customers are currently paying.

Winter rates for electricity are typically higher than summer rates. But because of falling oil and natural gas prices, the winter rates  for next year are lower than last year.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority  said they approved new rates to take effect on January 1, 2016. The residential generation rate for Eversource will change from 8.228 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to 9.555 cents/kWh. UI’s residential generation rate will change from 9.1241 cents/kWh to 10.7358 cents/kWh.

The rates apply to Eversource and United Illuminating  customers who receive the Standard Service rate. About 2/3 of customers in the state take the Standard Service rate. The remainder have chosen to receive their electricity from licensed supplier and may pay more or less than the Standard Service Rate.

The usage portion of the bill is typically about half a customer’s bill.

From January 1 to June 30, 2015,  the Standard Service rate for Eversource was 12.629 /kWh  cents per kilowatt-hour. Effective July 1, 2015, Eversource’s residential generation rate decreased to 8.228 cents/kWh. UI’s residential generation rate decreased from 13.3108 cents/kWh to 9.1241 cents/kWh.

Customers can compare UI and Eversource Standard Service generation rates to licensed suppliers’ current offers on Connecticut’s official generation rate board at www.energizect.com. From the home page select “Choose Your Electric Supplier.”