Energy Choice Matters, a highly respected website committed to providing timely and in-depth coverage of the competitive retail electric (and natural gas) markets, and the Boston Globe are reporting NSTAR customers can expect electricity supply costs to go up by 29%. If approved by regulators, the new residential default service rate will increase to 14.972 cents per kilowatt-hour beginning January 1, 2015.
This rate announcement is of little surprise, as comes on the heels of National Grid’s November 1st rate increase of 37% (compared to last winter), but will still be a shock to the wallets of NStar customers.
Do consumers have options? Yes!
Prior to 1997, electric utilities owned both the distribution function – the poles and wires – and the supply function – electricity generation. This means that National Grid and NSTAR are only responsible for delivering the power to their customers, but not generating it. As a result, customers are free to choose from Competitive Electricity Suppliers such as Provider Power Mass. (Along with ENH Power and Electricity Maine, Provider Power Mass is part of the Provider Power family of companies and was recently recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the nations fastest growing companies).
Energy experts and advocates across New England are raising awareness of these rising electricity supply rates and the opportunities to shop around with competitive suppliers like Provider Power. Ann Berwick, Director of the State Department of Public Utilities in Massachusetts, was recently quoted in the Barnstable Patriot suggesting this is the time for consumers to consider electricity supply companies.
Maine’s Public Advocate, Tim Schneider, is quoted in a recent news story as saying consumers should pay attention to the rates offered by competitive electricity supply companies such as Provider Power (Electricity Maine). “I think they are indicative of what the next annual solicitation will be for the standard offer,” he said.
Emile Clavet, co-owner of Provider Power Mass, suggests consumers review the market and “lock in” a longer term contract for electricity.
“It all depends on personal risk,” said Clavet. “In this environment, with so much fluctuation in the cost of power, it is our belief that the best option for consumers is to lock-in a longer term contract—especially one that covers as many ‘peak seasons’ – winter and summer months – as possible. Fixed, longer term contracts protect consumers,” he said.
Similar to oil-price contracts that allow customers to pay a set price per gallon during the heating season even if the price of heating oil spikes, competitive electricity suppliers offer similar types contracts for your home’s electricity.
“There isn’t a model that suggests rates will go down any time soon,” added Clavet.