The monthly heating bill at your household might not seem so high if you open your mail next to Dan Grabauskas. The general manager of the MBTA pays $25 million a year (of your money) to power the subways, heat the trains, and keep the lights on at platforms and stations. He is about to get an unprecedented expense hike - another $17 million a year.
"I buy wholesale. You buy retail," Grabauskas said. That helps, but not enough to shield the state's biggest utility customer from a pricey market. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority board agreed Thursday to a new five-year deal with Florida Power & Light, replacing a contract with
The MBTA runs an annual deficit that could surpass $400 million in the next five years, but Grabauskas said the authority has prepared for the upcoming $42 million power bill, because Hurricane Katrina spiked the energy market two years ago.
The old contract locked the T into a bargain rate of about 5 cents per kilowatt-hour. The new variable-rate contract will start at more than 8 cents per hour, still 2 or 3 cents less than the going industrial rate, consultant Mayhew Seavey told board members Thursday. "You are a big customer and a very attractive customer," Seavey said.