Rick Sullivan acknowledged the obvious: No one likes paying more for heating their home. “It’s a very real pocketbook issue. The average resident saw what happened to their electric bill this winter; it went up drastically because of the availability and price of natural gas,” said Sullivan, president of the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council (EDC). “Right now, natural gas is setting the price for power in this region.” But, on a larger scale, it’s also setting back the region’s economic-development potential at a time when Western Mass. is starting to see signs of growth and recovery.