Last week, National Grid announced that it was approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to raise electric distribution rates for its customers in Massachusetts. Residential customers can expect an increase of 7 percent. This figure is significantly lower than the original proposal, however. National Grid first lobbied for a 24 percent uptick, but the DPU reduced the increase to 7 percent. With the DPU’s intervention, total increase reduces from $133 million to $101 million. DPU Chairwoman Angela M. O’Connor stressed the necessity for a balance between providing reliable service and minimizing costs for National Grid’s 1.3 million customers in Massachusetts. This rate hike only concerns electric distribution rates, which cover the utility’s operation costs. The new rates took effect on Saturday, October 1. National Grid has not increased distribution rates since 2009.