Dorchester Residents Express Concern About Ability to Heat Homes This Winter

People in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood and elsewhere in Massachusetts are bracing for increased energy costs this winter

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People in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood are concerned about rising costs to heat their homes this winter.

Beginning this month, many Massachusetts residents are paying more for energy.



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National Grid's winter price hikes went into effect Tuesday, meaning the average monthly electric bill will go up by 64%, and the average monthly natural gas bill will increase by 24%. Eversource said customers can expect an increase of 19% to 30% on their energy bills, depending on location and fuel usage.

"Everybody's been so worried about bills going up," said Chandler Nelson. "The past couple days before last night was pretty cold, and we toughened it out. We haven't turned the heater on."

Nelson, his wife and his three kids are trying to make ends meet.

"I have a fixed income, and I have to work so I can keep up with the bills," said Marie Clement.

Celement, who receives disability due to nerve damage in her knee following surgery, is unable to receive state assistance because her combined home income is too high. But she says she still needs help.

"It doesn't make any sense," she said. "I'm worried what happens if the heat comes off."

To ease consumer fears, National Grid representatives met with residents in Dorchester, offering customers 25% discounts and payment plans. Similar events will take place in Brockton, Haverhill, Lowell and Fall River.

Visiting Boston Wednesday, Vice President Kamala Harris talked about the Biden administration's efforts to help low- and middle-income families with rising energy costs.

Click here to see available resources to help with heating.

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