Homes and businesses located in Boston and the surrounding areas are going to experience a sharp spike in the price they pay for electricity in January. NSTAR Electric, the utility company that delivers power to Boston consumers, recently announced a rate increase for power supply of 59.7% that will go into effect on January 1, 2015. NSTAR Electric consumers are scrambling to minimize the damage the price increase will impose by shopping for lower Boston electricity rates offered through Massachusetts electricity choice.
Similar to its neighboring states of Connecticut and New York, Massachusetts is an electricity choice state. Competitive electricity companies are able to solicit power rates to consumers throughout Massachusetts. This allows consumers to shop and try to keep their electric bills down if the market prices become lower than the utility default rate.
As the local regulated electric utility of Boston, NSTAR electric responsible for proving a default rate for electricity supply for those customers who do not shop the market for competitive electricity rates. The NSTAR default rate, labeled the price to compare, is the charge that is set to increase by 59.7% in January 2015. The December 2014 rate of $0.0938 per KWh will be increasing to $0.1498 for those NSTAR customers on the fixed default rate structure. The fixed default rate remains fixed for six month intervals, meaning that the $0.1498 rate will stay in effect through the end of June 2015. Some default paying customers on the variable rate structure will see an even bigger increase in January as those rates are set to go as high as $0.2080.
Customers can avoid the entire price increase and protect themselves from the possibility of an even bigger increase in July by locking in a low Boston electricity rate offered by a competitive supplier. All of the companies offering competitive electricity rates to NSTAR Electric customers are licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Energy.
The price that people pay for electricity in Connecticut is about to take a large increase for many residential customers. Connecticut Light & Power, the state’s largest electric utility, announced that their generation default rate for electricity will increase to $0.12629 in January from the 2014 rate of $0.0999. The increase represents a surge in price of 26% that consumers who remain on the default rate structure will see on their CL&P electric bills in the coming months.
Fortunately consumers of CL&P have the ability to shop for lower Connecticut electricity rates through the state’s energy choice act. Competitive electricity rates offered by alternative energy companies are available that will keep their energy bills under control. The rate hike will only occur for customers who do not shop and choose a competitive rate plan.
The rise in CL&P generation rates has been a trend for the past year. In July 2014 the CL&P default rate increased by 8.2% from the previous rate that had been in effect since January. The new rate that will go into effect on January 1, 2015 is 37% higher than the rate charged to customers in June 1, 2014. The new $0.12629 rate will stay in effect until June 30, 2015, at which point it could go even higher. Locking in a low fixed Connecticut electricity rate will not only offer customers savings right away, but will also provide price certainty for the second half of the year. Below are current CL&P competitive rate offers. Pries are updated on a daily basis.
Over the last month participation in the Massachusetts electricity choice market has spiked sharply due to a large increase in National Grid’s fixed default electricity supply rate that went into effect on November 1, causing some customer’s bills to double. National Grid customers who are on the variable default rate are about to see similar electricity price increases, and as a result are being encouraged to shop for low National Grid electric rates in Massachusetts. Competitive electricity companies and the state of Massachusetts have been educating consumers about the higher electricity prices to come, however a large number of customers remain on the default rate service which will cause electric bills to drastically increase over the next few months.
Residential customers of National Grid Massachusetts who do not choose a competitive electricity company pay a default rate for their power supply. The default paying customers have a choice between paying a fixed rate that changes every six months, or a variable rate that changes on a month to month basis. However, even though the variable rate changes every month, it is known what that rate will be during the six month interval that the fixed default rates are announced. For example, customers can see what the variable rate will be from now through the end of April 2015, which is when the current fixed rate will end.
The default variable rate increase has already started. National Grid Massachusetts variable paying customers saw their electricity price rise by 33% on November 1, 2014 from what it had been on October 31, 2014. These customers were paying a rate of 7.882 cents per KWh in October, and now in November are paying 10.492. This increase will be seen on the December National Grid electric bill which will represent charges for the power consumed in the month of November.
Unfortunately this is not the end of the higher electricity prices that will cause electric bills for National Grid customers to drastically increase if action is not taken in the form of shopping for a lower electricity rate. The National Grid variable rate will increase on December 1, 2014 to 16.706 cents per KWh. The new December rate will be 61% higher than the November rate, and 115% higher than the rate was in October. The rate will get as high as 22.67 cents in January 2015, which will be more than three times the rate was in October 2014. Customers on the National Grid variable price structure who do not take part in shopping for residential Massachusetts electricity rates will see their electric bills triple during this period. The risks are real as the price increase has already begun, but for many consumers they will not believe it is happening until those higher electric bills arrive in the mail.
We have collected some of the better competitive rate offers for National Grid Massachusetts residential customers. The offers below are good for both default fixed and variable rate customers. The switch process in Massachusetts can take up to a month as National Grid can only make the switch on the customer meter read date. In addition, a period up to 15 days in advance of the meter read date is needed for the switch to occur. If you are still on default rate service, the sooner you switch onto a lower competitive rate the better.
The default rate for electricity that customers of ComEd are paying remains relatively high when compared to available competitive prices offered through the Illinois Energy Choice Act. ComEd is the biggest electricity utility in the state of Illinois and is responsible for providing power to the entire city of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.
The current default price to compare ComEd rate for residential customers is between $0.0743 and $0.0793 cents per KWh. The range is dependent on the ComEd Purchase Electricity Adjustment, which gives ComEd the flexibility of adding up to half a penny, $0.005, per KWh to the default rate each month in order to make up expenses in situations where they pay more for power than the revenues derived from the price to compare customer pool. Meanwhile customers can find low electric rates in Chicago that will yield 9% savings versus the ComEd price to compare.
Chicago customers can also compare ComEd electricity rates that offer other incentives other than just a low price. Some electricity suppliers are offering cash back sign up bonuses, visa gift cards, and even a free Nest learning thermostat which is currently valued at $249. Illinois electricity suppliers are also offering green energy rate products that allow ComEd customers to purchase power derived from renewable resources.
Here is a list of the most attractive electricity rate offers in the ComEd service area, ranging from lowest price to great promotions: