On November 1, 2018 the basic service rate offered by National Grid to Massachusetts residential customers increased by a baffling 26.2%. Basic service is a default rate that National Grid charges to those customers for electricity generation supply who have not elected to purchase their power from a competitive electricity supplier. Residential customers can save money against the higher default rate by comparing competitive rates offered by suppliers who are licensed by the state of Massachusetts. Those customers who are already on a competitive rate plan will not be effected by the November 1 rate increase.

Numerous competitive rate plans are available for National Grid customers to choose between. In response to the 26.2% price increase competitive Massachusetts suppliers are pushing back and stepping up their marketing efforts in order to gain new customers. Energy price comparison sites such as ElectricRate.com are posting competitive rate offers as much as 12.6% less than the basic service rate offered by National Grid. Other rate green energy options are available that provide small savings.

As of May 2018, the Massachusetts state government reported that roughly 42.8% of the 1,035,462 residential customers that National Grid delivers power to had elected to purchase their electricity from a competitive supplier. The remaining 592,000 customers have the ability to substantially lower their National Grid electric bill by comparing and selecting a lower rate plan. The new basic service rate of $0.13718, up from $0.1087 in October, is the highest the default rate has been in over three years. Massachusetts electricity suppliers are expecting a large new batch of first time shoppers in response to the high rate, which will stay in effect until the end of April of next year.

Competitive rates offering savings versus the basic service rate are shown below. All competitive rates are provided by suppliers who have been licensed by the state of Massachusetts.


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New Jersey electricity customers who receive service from Jersey Central Power & Light (JCPL), and who are on the utility’s default generation plan, will experience a sharp rate increase beginning on the first of October 2018. The default rate, known as the basic generation service charge, changes twice annually and is derived by a series of auctions that take place as long as three years before the rate actually takes effect. The auctions are spaced out over a three year period as a way to spread out the price volatility that often occurs in wholesale energy markets; in this way default paying customers are not stuck paying high prices due to an auction occurring during a time when wholesale prices were high. However, if current energy prices are lower during the time the default rate is in effect, customers are then presented an opportunity to save money by switching to a lower competitive New Jersey electricity supplier.

Residential JCPL customers on the basic generation service rate will see at most a 13.93% rate increase take effect on October 1, 2018 compared to what they had been paying since the beginning of June. The new higher rate will have the biggest impact on lower usage customers. Since June 1, 2018 JCPL customers on the default rate have paid $0.083846 per KWh for the first 600 KWh they consume in a given monthly service period. This rate then increased to $0.093071 for all kilowatt hours above 600. On October 1 these residential customers will pay a flat rate of $0.095527 for all KWh consumed. The JCPL rate increase can be stopped by simply shopping the New Jersey competitive electricity market for a lower fixed price.

As of July 2018, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities released electric switch data showing that 16.8% of JCPL’s 999,604 residential customers were purchasing power from a competitive supplier. This data indicates that there are roughly 831,348 residential customers who are on the basic generation service rate, and who can avoid the October 1 price increase and lower their JCPL electric bill by shopping for a lower rate. Below are fixed JCPL electric rates offered by suppliers who have been licensed by the New Jersey BPU.


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Energy choice participation is picking up in Chicago as consumers are becoming more aware of legislation that allows them to choose a competitive electricity supplier as opposed to their incumbent utility ComEd. The creation of a competitive electricity market in Illinois has created an abundance of electric rate options that customers can now choose between. As suppliers fight to gain market share and brand recognition consumers will find it easier to shop around for the lowest rates with names they trust. Residents who become more educated with electricity choice continue to shop to stay informed about which suppliers are offering the lowest rates.

Chicago residents searching for the lowest electric rate should consider switching to a competitive supplier immediately . Locking in a fixed electric rate may protect the consumer from volatility during harsh winter months. Competitive electric suppliers already have future weather projections built into their rates, marginalizing the effects short term spikes in the energy wholesale futures markets will have on competitive offers. In general, fixed rates offered by Chicago competitive suppliers provide price security for residential customers.

Trying to choose the lowest electricity rate in Chicago is becoming easier as the competition fights to gain more market share. One tool that is becoming increasingly popular to help electric choice shoppers choose and compare rates are online comparison sites. Online comparison sites allow consumers to compare the cheapest electric rates from multiple suppliers based upon the desired term that best suits the customer. The process of switching to a competitive supplier through an online comparison site is minimal in time for the customer. All it takes is a copy of the ComEd bill and a few minutes to compare current competitive offers to the ComEd price to compare.


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Eversource Energy will change their default pricing for residential and commercial customers on July 1, 2018. The current prices have been in effect since January 1 of this year while the new prices will stay in effect through the end of the year. Since Connecticut has gone to an energy choice state Eversource Energy, formerly Connecticut Light & Power, has been updating their default prices twice a year on January 1 and July 1, so the change shouldn’t come as a big surprise to most consumers.

Residential customers will see a small drop in their default price of $0.09078 to $0.08530 while small and medium sized commercial customers will see a modest increase from $0.09304 to $0.09422. Customers who are currently purchasing their power from a competitive electricity supplier will not be affected by the change. The Eversource Energy default rate in Connecticut encompasses the charges that would be imposed by a competitive supplier’s electricity plan. The default price is merely the rate customers pay for electricity service who do not shop for prices available in the competitive energy marketplace.

Since the Connecticut residential electricity market became competitive in 2006 the number of participating customers have fluctuated in correlation with the Eversource Energy default price. When competitive electricity suppliers can offer rates that are below the default price more customers flock towards the electricity shopping experience. However, when the default rate and competitive rates are near the same consumers are less likely to shop. Over the years competitive electricity suppliers have attempted to smooth out the shopping droughts by offering customers with more incentives to shop other than low electricity rates. In addition to savings versus the default price, many competitive suppliers now offer renewable electricity rates and long term contracts that can offer customers price stability.

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Commercial Electricity Rates in Houston Could See High Price Pressure this Summer

May 31, 2018

Texas electricity suppliers have been issuing numerous warning to their commercial customers concerning likely higher prices this summer in the wholesale electricity market. These prices will trickle down to the retail sector hitting the electric bills of many business customers who are not on a secure fixed electricity rate contract. The Houston grid zone is […]

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Compare Boston Electricity Prices

April 17, 2018

Electricity choice in the Boston area has swelled in popularity in recent years as more consumers have become aware of the savings that competitive suppliers are offering. The deregulation of power markets in Massachusetts has resulted in the opportunity for Boston citizens to reduce their electricity bills by comparing offers presented by multiple energy companies. […]

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Energy Choice offers JCP&L Commercial Customers a High Rate of Savings

March 19, 2018

JCP&L commercial customers shopping for competitive electric rates in New Jersey can expect to save 15-25% off of their electric bills. According to New Jersey electric switching Stats, over 70% of the commercial load has already been switched over to a competitive supplier. Natural gas prices are near a 10-year low, which is currently putting […]

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BGE Gas Choice Provides Alternative to Fluctuating Default Prices

February 28, 2018

For over a decade energy choice in Maryland has allowed consumers to shop for competitive priced energy contracts for their homes and businesses. While electricity choice participation and familiarity has increased drastically over the last few years, gas choice awareness in Maryland has lagged behind. Due to recent rising default prices in the state’s largest […]

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Find Meted Electricity Savings and Avoid 2018 Price Hike

January 9, 2018

On December 1, 2017 Met-Ed enacted a price hike on their residential electricity customers who are on the utilities default supply service price. The former default price of $0.05995 went up to $0.06816 representing a 13.7% increase that will effect an estimated 335,769 customers who receive their power supply from Met-Ed. Fortunately for these customers […]

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Penelec Rate Increase in 2018 set to Spur Electricity Shopping

January 5, 2018

First Energy Corps’ electric utility Penelec announced a large price increase in late 2018 for their customers who are the price to compare residential rate structure. The price increase went into effect on December 1, 2017 and will first become apparent to thousands of customers in January 2018 as the Penelec electric bill with the […]

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