If you reside in the Boston area, or the surrounding suburban cities, you have grown accustom to receiving your monthly electricity bill from NSTAR. You may have been surprised in February when your electricity bill arrived with a new name on the header. Looking for the familiar NSTAR name and logo, you were instead greeted by the new company name Eversource Energy.
NSTAR has not been bought out by another company nor did they participate in a corporate merger. The name change is instead a rebranding effort by the company that owns NSTAR and several other high profile utility companies in the New England and northeast area. In addition to NSTAR, National Grid operating in both Massachusetts and New York, Western Mass Electric, and Connecticut Light & Power are all going through the name change to Eversource Energy. The company wants to create a brand name that can be easily recognized across all of the markets that they currently service.
The timing of the name change has not been good for the people at Eversource as severe rate hikes through many of the company’s electric utility default rates have taken place over the last few months, prompting consumers to think that the name change is related to the price hike. The reality is that this is just a coincidence. NSTAR, National Grid in Massachusetts, Westerm Mass Electric, and CL&P have all recently increased their electric default rates due to the results of auctions they held for the price in late 2014. The price increases are about 20-25% in Connecticut while they range from 30-100% in Massachusetts. Customers can lower their electric bills by shopping for a lower electricity supplier in their state. In an attempt to obtain new NSTAR customers, energy suppliers are offering low electricity rates in Boston that provide savings of up to 30% when compared to the NSTAR generation default price.
While the name is different the role that Eversource Energy plays is the same. This role includes delivery reliable power to homes and businesses, responding to power outages and other power lines and wires malfunctions, sending out and collecting money for the monthly electric bill, and providing a default rate for generation supply. For customers looking to lower their electric bill they can choose a lower electricity rate which will replace the Eversource default rate, even though Eversource will continue to send out the electric bill and respond to power failures.
Businesses in central Pennsylvania who receive their power from Pennsylvania Power & Light will face a sharp price increase that is set to go into effect in March. PP&L announced that their commercial electricity price to compare rate will increase by 8.5% as the current rate of $0.09325 per KWh will rise to $0.10121 per KWh. The rate increase will effect businesses who are not currently purchasing their power from a competitive Pennsylvania electricity supplier and who instead are on the PP&L default price to compare rate structure.
Roughly 47% of commercial customers serviced by PP&L are on the default rate structure. These customers can prevent the rate increase, and even lower their current rate, by shopping for a competitive Pennsylvania commercial electricity rate which would replace the PP&L price to compare rate on the electric bill.
The Pennsylvania electricity choice market has seen more activity in the commercial sector than the residential since the market took off five years ago. Statewide 45.9% of all commercial electricity customers are purchasing their power from a competitive supplier through a contract. In contrast, only 35.9% of residential customers have selected an alternative to their utility. Commercial participation is highest in the PP&L service area. The rate hike that will go into effect on March 1, 2015 is expected to widen the gap even further as business owners who previously did not look into competitive rates will likely take a closer look at their options.
Business owners can compare commercial PP&L electricity rates by selecting their utility and average monthly bill amount. An energy matrix offering different fixed rate terms and start months will populate, allowing the business to decide on when their contract will start and for how long they would like to secure the rate.
The Western Mass Electric company recent price hike has sent many customers searching for a new electricity supplier in order to save money on their electricity bills. The utility company, which is often abbreviated as WMECO, is the third larges utility in the state of Massachusetts and provides power to about 210,000 residential customers. On January 1, 2015 WMECO customers who were on the default generation rate structure saw a substantial rate increase of 29 percent. This increase can be lowered for those consumers who shop for and find a competitive rate being offered by a Western Mass Electric supplier.
Massachusetts electricity choice is a new concept for many of these consumers causing a wave of confusion and questions to be answered. Electricity choice in Massachusetts allows customers to shop for a competitive generation electric rate that will replace their local utility default rate for generation supply. However, the local utility company will continue to deliver power to their customers at distribution rates that are regulated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.
Even after a customer switches to a competitive supplier, Western Mass Electric will continue to send the customer their monthly electric bill and respond to power outages and emergencies. The only difference will be the rate for generation charges on the monthly electric bill. In response to the recent default price hike by WMECO, many competitive electricity suppliers are offering lower electricity rates to customers in order to attract new customers. To find a competitive WMECO supplier look at current rates being offered below. All companies offering electricity rates to WMECO customers are licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.
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.