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NSTAR proposes 32 percent drop in gas charge

BOSTON, Mass, Sept. 13, 2001 — NSTAR yesterday requested permission from the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy (DTE) to lower its current Cost of Gas charge by 32 percent effective November 1, 2001.

When compared to last winter’s average Cost of Gas charge, the proposed decrease represents a 44 percent reduction, or a savings to customers of $116 million.

In its filing, NSTAR seeks to drop the Cost of Gas charge from the present $0.775 per therm to $0.526 per therm for the period of November 1, 2001 through April 30, 2002.

NSTAR Gas heating customers who use an average of 144 therms per month during the winter period will save about $60 on their total monthly bill. With the reduced Cost of Gas charge, the average heating bill will be about $134 a month compared to about $194 last winter.

NSTAR Gas non-heating customers who use an average of 17 therms per month will save about $7 on their total monthly bill. The average non-heating bill will be about $27 a month compared to about $34 last winter.

Yesterday’s request by NSTAR marks the third time in eight months that Massachusetts’ largest gas and electric utility has asked the DTE to allow the company to lower its rate.

On March 1, 2001 NSTAR cut its Cost of Gas charge from $1.11 per therm to $0.937 per therm, further decreasing the charge to $0.775 on May 1, 2001. The reductions in the Cost of Gas charge represent decreasing prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Cost of Gas charge is a direct pass-through of the company’s cost of gas and the company is not allowed to realize a profit on this portion of the bill.

NSTAR delivers natural gas to nearly 300,000 customers and electricity to over 1 million customers in more than 100 communities in Eastern Massachusetts. NSTAR was formed in 1999 through the merger of BEC Energy and Commonwealth Energy System. For more information, go to www.nstaronline.com.