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      State approves cuts to National Grid rates

      The New York State Public Service Commission approved lowering the costs of National Grid's residential electricity delivery bills.

      Prices will decrease between 11 and 44 percent for customers. On a total bill basis, the decline will average 6 percent for residential customers, and up to 23 percent for some commercial and industrial customers.

      There are about 1.6 million customers in upstate New York, 1.5 million of which are residential customer. These customers will see a decrease in delivery rates, a change that is sure to be welcome by many.

      "The Commission and its staff worked diligently to provide this historic relief to National Grid ratepayers," said Commission Chairman Garry Brown said in a statement. "Not only we were able to freeze electric delivery rates for average residential customers in 2011, but residential customers will now see a sharp decrease in delivery rates next year. Furthermore, commercial and industrial customers will see unprecedented decreases in delivery rates, a welcome change that will have a positive economic impact across National Grid's service territory."

      The primary reason for the decease in rates is because the fixed Competitive Transition Charge, which was part of the National Grid and Niagara Mohawk merger, is being eliminated. The Competitive Transition Charge was, designed for the recovery of Niagara Mohawk's buy-out costs to end certain above-market priced federal- and state-mandated power supply contracts and the loss on the sale of Niagara Mohawk's generation assets.

      Read the full release.