Energy choice in the state of Massachusetts has been active for the last several years, but for the most part has remained under the radar. Educated consumers who were aware of the choice laws may have participated by locking in a low electricity rate with a competitive Massachusetts electricity supplier or even elected to purchase power derived from renewable resources through the choice market. However, for the majority, energy choice hasn’t been a concern as the competitive rates haven’t offered significant savings off of the local utility default rates; that is about to change in a big way for Massachusetts residences who receive their power from National Grid.
On November 1, 2014 National Grid electricity customers will see the rate they pay for power supply increase by as much as 100%, depending on their rate structure. The 100% increase is not a typo, many National Grid electricity customers in Massachusetts will see their monthly electric bills double due to a rate increase. The rate increase can be avoided, or managed by consumers who search for competitive residential Massachusetts electricity rates as the rate spike will only effect customers on the default basic service rate.
National Grid in Massachusetts offers a default electricity rate for those consumers who have not elected to participate in finding a competitive choice rate. The official name for the default rate is the basic service rate, and it is this rate that will be increasing on November 1, 2014. Basic service customers are either on a fixed rate structure that changes every six months, or a variable rate structure that changes every month.
Massachusetts electricity customers who are on the National Grid basic service fixed rate will see their electricity supply rate increase from $0.08277 on October 31, 2014 to $0.16273 on November 1, 2014 if they do not select a competitive electricity rate plan. The $0.16273 is set to remain in tact through April 30, 2015. Locking in a competitive fixed Massachusetts electricity rate that is lower than the $0.16272 will provide some savings right away, and may protect consumers from another rate increase that could take effect in May of 2015. Customers on the National Grid basic service variable plan do not have it much better as the expected price will get as high as $0.22067 in January 2015
Electricity choice continues to provide lower price options for residential customers who receive their power from BGE. The creation of a competitive electricity market has created an abundance of electric rate options that give consumers an alternative to the BGE default price to compare rate. Electric bills in the BGE service area are increasingly being reduced as a result of Maryland electricity choice laws that allow consumers to shop for competitive power rates.
BGE residential customers who do not shop the electricity choice market for lower rates pay a default rate for their power supply through BGE. The default rate is determined through an auction process where competitive electricity suppliers compete for the ability to service a bundle of the default paying customers. An individual customer can take that default rate, labeled the price to compare, and search for a lower competitive electricity rate. Once selected, the competitive rate replaces the default rate on the monthly electric bill, creating savings if the competitive rate is below the BGE default rate.
BGE electricity choice rates have remained lower than the price to compare for all of 2014. This has resulted in an increase in the participating level in Maryland electricity choice. Those customers who have not taken the time to learn about electricity choice are paying more than they have to on their monthly BGE electric bills.
Residential electricity customers in the Meted service area in Pennsylvania saw their utility price to compare rate increase by twenty-five percent in the summer. This sharp price increase made room for competitive electricity suppliers in the area to offer prices that were significantly lower than the default rate, yielding double digit savings opportunities. As the summer comes to an end, those saving opportunities still exist for Meted consumers who have remained on the high Meted price to compare.
Despite the fact that competitive Pennsylvania electricity suppliers are offering rates with savings of as much as 17% versus the Meted default price, only 35.7% of residential customers in the area have selected a competitive offer. Customers who are skeptical of selecting a competitive electricity rate should know that all competitive rate plans are offered by electricity suppliers who are licensed with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. In addition, even after the switch is made, customers will continue to receive their electric bill from Meted. Instead of being charged the current Meted default rate of $0.09725, the competitive rate would be charged instead, allowing the customer to save whatever difference is yielded.
Current competitive offers in Meted from electricity suppliers licensed by the state of Pennsylvania can be found below. All rate plans are updated in real time.
After enjoying record level low electricity prices for the past year and a half, residential customers serviced by Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) are facing a huge electric rate hike that went into effect on June 1, 2014. For some consumers the rate hike is more than 50% as the ComEd default rate has jumped from below 5 cents to, in some cases, just above 8 cents. The price hike will effect all residential ComEd consumers who are on the “Price to Compare” rate structure, which is the price consumers pay for generation and transmission service who have not shopped for an alternative solution.
The large price increase by ComEd has resurrected competitive electricity rate offers that can produce savings. During the last year and a half, Illinois electricity suppliers found it difficult to offer rate plans that could show savings versus the ComEd price to compare. Instead they focused on promotional incentives and longer term price protection contracts in order to gain new customers. With high ComEd rates accompanied by low wholesale prices, ComEd energy choice can once again provide fixed electric rates that are lower than the default prices and thus offer clean cut savings on the ComEd electric bill.
Finding a low electricity rate offered by a electricity supplier who is licensed by the Illinois Commerce Commission can result in lower monthly ComEd electric bills.