Deregulated States

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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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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Hot Texas SummerTexas 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 already experiencing upward pressure on electricity prices as temperatures have been higher than normal in May. Houston zonal pricing for the 12 month strip, which determines the 12 month fixed rate, jumped up 7% in May.

The cause for concern over Texas electricity prices for the summer of 2018 is a result of recent coal fired electricity generation plants being closed over the last year. In an effort to move to a more green energy future, the closure of coal generation plants is likely going to put Texas is a electricity supply shortage that the state has not experienced in decades. If the shortage in electricity gets to close to a break even point to the demand, wholesale electricity prices will skyrocket as retail electricity suppliers bid of prices to meet the demand of their individual customers, many of whom are on variable rate products and won’t be protected by aggressive market increases.

Small and medium commercial electricity customers often let their fixed rate contracts expire without renewing for another fixed contract. When this occurs, electricity providers in Texas will likely place the customer on a monthly variable rate that is tied directly to the wholesale market with a retail adder for the provider. These variable products are the most accessible to the likely price spikes expected this summer in Houston and other parts of Texas. Texas electricity prices have been fairly stable over the last seven years, so keeping up with the electricity contract hasn’t been an issue for many small business owners. The stability in the market has created a moral hazard issue that could hit businesses hard this summer for commercial electricity consumers who are paying a variable rate with their provider. The variable rates have been quite low over the past few years that many customers have come to believe that low variable prices are normal; they are not and can jump up quickly and aggressively.

It is crucially important for all commercial electricity customers in the Houston area to lock in a low fixed electricity rate contract. Luckily in Texas, as opposed to other states who have electricity choice markets, the time it takes to switch providers and rate structures can be as early as the next business day. In some states in can take up to two months, which would leave customers on a variable rate in a bad situation if wholesale prices spiked.

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Boston HarbourElectricity 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. While multiple offers is a good thing for the overall consumer base, taking the time to properly compare Boston electricity prices can be overwhelming for some people who are still learning about the concepts behind electricity choice.

Boston homes and buildings receive their power from Eversource Energy. Eversource Energy services as the city’s local utility company. Though consumers are able to compare electricity prices for their power supply, they do not have the ability to shop for which company delivers them the power through the grid. Prior to rebranding itself as Eversource Energy, the company operated under the name NSTAR in the Boston region. Many customers still call the utility company by the name NSTAR. Boston residents who have lived in the city prior to 1999 might remember their local power company being called the Boston Edison Company. Before Massachusetts deregulated the power market, the Boston Edison Company provided regulated power supply to the city of Boston.

Eversource Energy provides a default electricity supply rate for customers who have not taken the opportunity to compare Boston electricity prices from multiple companies. The difference between the default rate and competitive prices has at times been significant. Customers who have not switched and compared energy suppliers can lower their Eversource electricity bills by over ten percent. At the end of 2017 roughly 38% of residential customers in the Boston area had selected a competitive supplier.


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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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National Grid Massachusetts Rate Increase 2017 Update

October 27, 2017

National Grid electric bills in Massachusetts are going to be substantially higher this winter for customers who have not selected a competitive supplier. According to the most recent data released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, the higher National Grid electric bills will effect just over 600,000 residential customers. The cause of the the […]

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BGE Commercial Customers Selecting a Competitive Supplier Can Expect Immediate Savings

September 27, 2017

Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) Commercial Customers looking to shop around for competitive electric rates can expect a lower electric bill upon choosing a competitive supplier. The deregulation of the electricity market in Maryland is opening the doors for competitive suppliers to offer lower rates than a BGE commercial customer can expect to receive from […]

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