Mild summer cuts AC, lowers electricity costs

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The mild summer so far has allowed New Englanders to turn off their air conditioners, helping cut costs with reduced demand for electricity.

ISO-New England, the region's grid operator, says an abundance of natural gas and more efficient power plants have helped cut the wholesale price of energy, a respite from soaring heating costs in the winter.

Costs are falling for some ratepayers, but it's uneven among New England states and the lower prices are in effect for only for a few months. The U.S. Energy Department says retail prices in New England were still higher in June than last year.

Regulators in Connecticut and Maine have approved rate reductions. Rates for Massachusetts customers of National Grid fell in May, but the drop was smaller than an increase last November.