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RI Using $1.5M to Blunt Low-Income Payers’ Electric Bills


[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] The RI State House.
PROVIDENCE, RI — Rhode Islanders are paying about 10 cents more per kilowatt hour (kWh) after the RI Public Utilities Commission’s approval of RI Energy’s rate hike, a hardship  the Office of Energy Resources (OER) will blunt for low-income payers.

Gov. Dan McKee and the OER have announced $1.5 million from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to provide direct rate relief to low-income residents for their electricity bills this winter season. That’s in addition to the $5.3 million McKee added to the rate relief program, according to the Governor’s office. The funding is expected to aid about 39,000 low-income customers with their electric bills through the end of March.

According to the U.S. Energy Information, average U.S. energy use per household is 893 kWh per month. That would’ve made the average Rhode Islander’s monthly bill about $69.74 in September. Starting Oct. 1, that bill jumped to $158.82.

“Our team has been committed to securing direct rate relief to Rhode Islanders to help with their winter electricity bills – we’re continuing to deliver on that commitment,” said McKee. “This $1.5 million raises the total available energy support to $6.8 million, which means an approximate energy bill savings of $190 per customer during the winter electricity rates. For those who do not qualify for this rate relief or need additional support, including heating oil assistance, please visit for a list of state and federal energy assistance programs that may help lower your energy bills.”

In October, Governor McKee announced the launch of a new website,, providing a one-stop resource for all publicly available state, federal and nonprofit energy assistance programs and funding for the upcoming winter season. There is also information about free home energy assessments for homeowners and renters looking to reduce their energy usage and electric bills.
The website includes a simple, clear list of state, federal and nonprofit energy assistance resources for Rhode Islanders. Specifically, it highlights financial awards to help pay for heating and electric bills including: the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, Keep the Heat On, Free Home Energy Assessment Program, Weatherization Assistance Program, Heating System Repair and Replacement Program.
Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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