News

Proof is in the savings. Long term fixed rates a better option.

Massachusetts utilities are beginning to announce their spring/summer rates, the May 20 edition of the Boston Globe has a nice article-although it only tells part of the story.  In short-the rate ride continues.

Consumer advocates and officials across New England continue to express concern about periodic electric utility rate increases. Electric utilities are often taken to task for taking customers on a rate roller coaster ride. During the winter of 2014/15 National Grid customers in Massachusetts paid 37% more than the previous winter. Eversource (previously NSTAR) rates increased 29%.   The rate increases were the subject of many news stories like these from the Boston Globe and WGBH.

Many electric utility customers across Massachusetts are fighting back and taking advantage of longer term fixed rates offered by Provider Power. These customers have selected the security of fixed rates over the rate uncertainty that comes from their utility.

As spring/summer rates are announced by utilities, ask this question: Will these rates balance out the higher winter rates? History shows us they do not. Looking back over the last 18 months, longer term fixed rates prove their worth.

As this chart shows, even when utility rates go down, they don’t off set the peak costs during the winter. Going back to the Fall of 2013, the average National Grid customer who switched to Provider Power saved nearly $250.

unpredictable-rates

Here are some of the the benefits of longer term fixed rates with Provider Power.

[list]
[list_item icon=”fa-home” color=”#F17722″]Protection from fluctuations in the market. Provider Power customers don’t worry about rate peaks.[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”fa-home” color=”#F17722″]Security and Budgeting. If you know how much power you use, consumers can predict their monthly bills.[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”fa-home” color=”#F17722″]Provider Power is a New England owned company. We do business with other local companies, hire locally and support local non-profit groups.[/list_item]
[/list]

 

 

 

3 Reasons Why Fixed Electricity Supply Rates are Better Than Variable

Consumer advocates and officials in many states have expressed concern with electricity supply companies who offer variable rate plans.   Several New England states are going so far as to discuss how to further regulate and make variable rate plans more transparent for consumers.

At Provider Power we don’t believe that variable rate plans are in the best interest of the consumers.  Not only can they be detrimental to our pocketbooks, but the “unknown” that comes with variable rate plans can be tough on the nerves.  Imagine not having any idea how much your power bill will be?  Not a good feeling.

Here are the benefits of a fixed rate plan:.

*Protection from fluctuations in the market. No worries about electricity rate spikes.

*Security and Budgeting.  If you know who much power you use, you can easily predict how much your bill will be.

*Power in Your Hands. Longer term fixed rates mean you don’t have to worry about what your utility will offer for default/standard rate.  Will utilities changing their supply rates every 6-12 months, what you pay is out of your hands.  With fixed contracts the power is in your hands.

Higher Electric Utility Rates Stretching Consumer’s Budgets

As the holidays approach, higher electric utility rates are taking a toll on consumers.   The solution?   Shop the market, review all the options. 

In Massachusetts, National Grid’s rates are 37% higher than last winter. NSTAR’s rates have increased 29%

On December 8th WGBH News covered the recent changes in electricity rates.

The reason given for these increases — the high cost of natural gas delivered to New England during the winter months.

The rise in natural gas dependency has been dramatic in the region. ISO New England, the manager of the regional electricity grid, indicated that nearly 15 years ago, natural gas represented only 15% of the total mix of fuels.  In 2014, natural gas is now the leading source of electricity in the region, accounting for 55% of production — that’s an increase of 266%! Currently, the second leading source of electricity is now nuclear, with coal representing 1% and oil even less than that, a dramatic restructuring of the region’s traditional fossil fuel mix used to generate electricity.

Regional Concern:

In New Hampshire, customers of two utilities – Liberty and Unitil – will see an increase in their electricity supply rates greater than 40%. As of December 1st, 2014-PSNH, the state’s largest utility, has not announced their new rate.

State energy officials are going to unprecedented lengths to put information into the hands of consumers.  The New Hampshire Office of Public Advocateput out a news release offering advice to consumers on how to manage their utility bills this winter.

Maine households on the standard offer have been protected from price swings because the PUC (not the utilities as many believe) has been bidding only one-third of the total standard-offer price each year.  The PUC bidding process will change this year, with standard-offer bids reflecting more-immediate, real-time prices. That process will begin later this fall and rates will change on March 1, 2015.

How much will Maine residential consumer pay for power?  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 Electricity Maine. “I think they are indicative of what the next annual solicitation will be for the standard offer,” he said.

Are there any short-term solutions for customers—both residential and business owners?

Emile Clavet, co-owner of Provider Power (the parent company of Provider Power Mass, Electricity Maine, and ENH Power, one of region’s largest competitive electricity suppliers, suggests consumers “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’ as possible. Fixed, longer term contracts protect consumers,” he said.

Similar to oil-price contracts that allow customers to pay a set price for each gallon purchased during the heating season, even if the price of heating oil spikes, competitive electricity providers also offer similar type contracts for the power they provide.

“There isn’t a model that suggests rates will go down any time soon,” added Clavet.

To read more about what is driving the cost of electricity and the impact on residential and business consumers visit:

Boston Globe

Cape Cod Today

 

Supply Companies Offering Variable Rates Again Called Into Question

A Connecticut-based law firm, Izard Nobel LLP, has filed legal cases against the multiple electricity supply companies. The law firm takes issue with how North American Power & Gas, Direct Energy Services, Viridian Energy and Discount Power market their variable rate products.

According to the Middletown Press Newspaper, the firm is accusing the supply companies of “engaging in price gouging as well as unfair and deceptive business practices.”

At Provider Power (Provider Power Mass, ENH Power, and Electricity Maine), we don’t believe that variable rate plans are in the best interest of the consumers.  While this might be a viable option in some regions of the country, here in the Northeast, where weather is unpredictable and natural gas prices fluctuate greatly, real time energy costs in the winter and mid summer can be exorbitant.

We continue to applaud the Maine Office of the Public Advocate and the Connecticut  Public Utilities Regulatory Authority for previously warning consumers about electricity supply plans that include variable rates.

In some states, including Connecticut, due to variable rate offerings, consumers have seen their power bill go up by 300%. This tends to happen during periods of peak demand, such as colder winter months or hotter summer months. As demand for natural gas, the primary source of electricity production, continues to fluctuate, electricity prices will continue to rise.

At Provider Power we do things differently. We purchase all of our customers’ power for the duration of their contract, at the time of enrollment, at a fixed price.  As a result, customer’s are not affected by pricing variations.

Provider Power’s innovate business model led Inc. Magazine to recognizing Provider Power as one of the nation’s fastest growing companies.

Provider Power Ranked No. 6 in Nation by Inc. Magazine

Inc. Magazine Unveils 33rd Annual List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies—the Inc. 5000 Provider Power Ranks No. 1 in Energy Sector

NEW YORK, August 20, 2014 — Inc. magazine today ranked Provider Power (the parent company of Electricity Maine, ENH Power, and Provider Power Mass), NO. 6 on its 33rd annual Inc. 500|5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. Provider Power is also ranked NO. 1, in the energy sector.

Kevin Dean (left), Emile Clavet, co-owners of Provider Power.

Kevin Dean (left), Emile Clavet, co-owners of Provider Power.

The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent entrepreneurs. Companies such as Yelp, Pandora, Timberland, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, LinkedIn, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 500|5000.
“The fact that a Maine owned energy company can compete on a national scale is a testament to all our employees,” said Kevin Dean who is the co-owner of Provider Power with partner Emile Clavet. “New England values, honest business practices and putting customers, and employees ahead of gimmicks are the key to our success.”

This is the second consecutive year that Provider Power has been ranked by Inc. Magazine.

The 2014 Inc. 500, unveiled in the September issue of Inc. (available on newsstands August 20 to November 15 and on Inc.com), is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. To make the cut, companies had to have achieved a staggering minimum of 942.6% in sales growth. The Inc. 500’ s aggregate revenue is $15.2 billion, with a median three-year growth of 1,828%, generating 23,000 jobs over the past three years. Complete results of the Inc. 500|5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.

“What surprises me, even though I know it’s coming, is the sheer variety of the paths our entrepreneurs take to success, thematically reflecting how our economy has evolved,” says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. “This year there are far more social media and far fewer computer hardware businesses than there were, say, six years ago. But what doesn’t change is the fearsome creativity unleashed by American entrepreneurship.”

The secret to Provider Power’s success? According to Emile Clavet, co-owner of Provider Power, the recipe is a simple one. “Offer a fair product at a fair price with no surprises and a hyperlocal support of community. Consumers in Maine and New Hampshire were sending their money to an out of state supplier and had no idea. New England consumers prefer to do business close to home.”

 

NSTAR Electricity Rates Set to go up for Massachusetts Customers

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.

 

Higher Utility Electricity Supply Costs Underway

Just as New England is heading towards the winter heating season, rising utility electricity supply costs are having an impact across the region.  This gets compounded when consumer budgets take a hit from seasonal increases related to home heating and other expenses associated with winter.Energy-Costs_1

In Massachusetts, beginning November 1,  National Grid’s rates are 37% higher than last winter.  NSTAR and WMECO, the other utilities in Massachusetts, are expected to follow suit.

In a recent WCVB TV report about National Grid’s rate increase, NSTAR officials say their rates are also expected to go up.

The reason given for these increases — the high cost of natural gas delivered to New England during the winter months.

The rise in natural gas dependency has been dramatic in the region. ISO New England, the manager of the regional electricity grid, indicated that nearly 15 years ago, natural gas represented only 15% of the total mix of fuels.  In 2014, natural gas is now the leading source of electricity in the region, accounting for 55% of production — that’s an increase of 266%! Currently, the second leading source of electricity is now nuclear, with coal representing 1% and oil even less than that, a dramatic restructuring of the region’s traditional fossil fuel mix used to generate electricity.

Regional Concern:

In New Hampshire, customers of two utilities – Liberty and Unitil – will see an increase in their electricity supply rates greater than 40%. PSNH, the state’s largest utility, has not announced their new rate. State energy officials are going to unprecedented lengths to put information into the hands of consumers.  The New Hampshire Office of Public Advocateput out a news release offering advice to consumers on how to manage their utility bills this winter.

Maine households on the standard offer have been protected from price swings because the PUC (not the utilities as many believe) has been bidding only one-third of the total standard-offer price each year.  The PUC bidding process will change this year, with standard-offer bids reflecting more-immediate, real-time prices. That process will begin later this fall and rates will change on March 1, 2015.

How much will Maine residential consumer pay for power?  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 Electricity Maine. “I think they are indicative of what the next annual solicitation will be for the standard offer,” he said.

Are there any short-term solutions for customers—both residential and business owners?

Emile Clavet, co-owner of Provider Power (the parent company of Electricity Maine, ENH Power and Provider Power Mass, one of region’s largest competitive electricity suppliers, suggests consumers “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’ as possible. Fixed, longer term contracts protect consumers,” he said.

Similar to oil-price contracts that allow customers to pay a set price for each gallon purchased during the heating season, even if the price of heating oil spikes, competitive electricity providers also offer similar type contracts for the power they provide.

“There isn’t a model that suggests rates will go down any time soon,” added Clavet.

To read more about what is driving the cost of electricity and the impact on residential and business consumers visit:

Boston Globe

Cape Cod Today

 

As Electricity Costs go up in New England – You have choices

Predictions of rising energy costs are ratcheting up concerns as Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts head into the coldest time of the year. This gets compounded when consumer budgets take a hit from seasonal increases related to home heating and other expenses associated with winter. They may now be pressured even further if the predicted increases in electricity occur.Energy-Costs_1

In Massachusetts, National Grid recently announced their rates would be 37% higher than last winter.  For the average home this is a $30 per month increase.  NSTAR and WMECO, the other utilities in Massachusetts, are expected to follow suit.

In New Hampshire, Liberty and Unitil customers will see an increase in their electricity supply rates greater than 40%. PSNH, the state’s largest utility, has not announced their new rate. State energy officials are going to unprecedented lengths to put information into the hands of consumers.  The New Hampshire Office of Public Advocate put out a news release offering advice to consumers on how to manage their utility bills this winter.

And in Maine, Energy experts alerted consumers with a news release on October 6th telling businesses “to prepare for a sharp rise in electricity prices this winter.”

The reason given for these increases — the high cost of natural gas delivered to New England during the winter months.

The rise in natural gas dependency has been dramatic in the region. ISO New England, the manager of the regional electricity grid, indicated that nearly 15 years ago, natural gas represented only 15% of the total mix of fuels.  In 2014, natural gas is now the leading source of electricity in the region, accounting for 55% of production — that’s an increase of 266%! Currently, the second leading source of electricity is now nuclear, with coal representing 1% and oil even less than that, a dramatic restructuring of the region’s traditional fossil fuel mix used to generate electricity.

Maine households on the standard offer have been protected from price swings because the PUC (not the utilities as many believe) has been bidding only one-third of the total standard-offer price each year.  The PUC bidding process will change this year, with standard-offer bids reflecting more-immediate, real-time prices. That process will begin later this fall and rates will change on March 1, 2015.

How much will Maine residential consumer pay for power?  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 Electricity Maine. “I think they are indicative of what the next annual solicitation will be for the standard offer,” he said.

Are there any short-term solutions for customers—both residential and business owners?

Emile Clavet, co-owner of Provider Power (the parent company of Electricity Maine, ENH Power and Provider Power Mass, one of region’s largest competitive electricity suppliers, suggests consumers “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’ as possible. Fixed, longer term contracts protect consumers,” he said.

Similar to oil-price contracts that allow customers to pay a set price for each gallon purchased during the heating season, even if the price of heating oil spikes, competitive electricity providers also offer similar type contracts for the power they provide.

“There isn’t a model that suggests rates will go down any time soon,” added Clavet.

To read more about what is driving the cost of electricity and the impact on residential and business consumers visit:

Seacoast Online

Boston Globe

Kennebec Journal

Cape Code Today

Nat Grid Electricity Rates to Soar-Save with Provider Power Mass

Energy Choice Matters, a highly respected website committed to providing timely and in-depth coverage of the competitive retail electric (and natural gas markets), is reporting that National Grid (in Massachusetts) has asked for a new fixed basic service charge of 16.182 ¢/kWh.  This new rate for residential customers would run November 2014 through April 2015.

“National Grid’s new rate in Massachusetts is not a surprise, we fully expect the other utilities to follow suit. When utilities have to change their rates going into the winter heating season, consumers really feel the pinch,” said Emile Clavet, co-owner of ProviderPower Mass.

Media outlets, the utilities themselves, and regulators have had the warning signs up for quite sometime.   Another cold winter, requiring a high demand of natural gas (a key ingredient in electricity production) has been the subject of several media reports across New England, which include:

MassLive

New Hampshire Business Review

The Portland Press Herald

ppm-sqAs the other utilities in Massachusetts (NSTAR, Unitil, WMECO) set their winter pricing, they will be facing the same market uncertainty.

“Consumers have said they want longer term options, they understand there is security with knowing what they will pay for electricity,” said Clavet.   We only offer fixed rates, no variable rate surprises, and Massachusetts consumers can select from 12 or 24 month plans with ProviderPower Mass.”

Provider Power Mass, part of the Provider Power family of companies (with ENH Power and Electricity Maine) only offers competitive- fixed rates (no variable rate surprises).   Provider Power Mass is currently offering the following rates for residential National Grid customers:

12.8 ¢/kWh (12 months) and 12.5 c/kWh for (24 months).

To receive this great savings, have your power bill handy and visit providerpowermass.com.