Eversource Energy

Business customers in the western part of Massachusetts who receive their electric bill from Eversource Energy have started to feel the effects of a large rate increase that took effect at the beginning of the year. On January 1, 2019 Eversource Energy enacted a rate increase on their small business default rate. The default rate increased from $0.10859 per KWh to $0.12355, which represents a 13.78% increase. Since the rate did not go into effect until the first day of 2019, many business customers did not learn about the change until they received their electric bill in February.

The majority of Western Massachusetts electricity customers receive their power from Western Eversource Energy, formerly named WMECO. As an electricity choice state Massachusetts customers have the option to shop for electricity rates from competitive energy suppliers who are licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. The choice laws give consumers the option to shop for competitive rates. If a customer does not choose a competitive price plan they are put on a default supply price with their local utility such as Eversource Energy. When an environment exists that allows competitive suppliers to offer electricity rates below the default price it produces an obvious incentive for the customer to switch onto a competitive supplier’s plan. Such an environment currently exists for small business customers (rate classes 23, 24, G-0, T-0) in the Western Massachusetts service area of Eversource Energy.

Small business owners will have to battle the new default rate through the end of June 30, 2019, which they can do by searching for a competitive fixed electricity rate plan. Currently the new default rate that will go into effect in July of 2019 and stay stagnant through the rest of the year is unknown. However, there is no guarantee that it will go down from the current $0.12355 price. The volatility of the default rate throughout the last few years combined with the current high price provides business decision makers with an incentive to lock in a long term fixed contract of at least 24 months. In addition to lowering the electric bill and guaranteeing savings over the next few months, the business will be hedging its risk at potential further increases.

In a time of economic uncertainty the last thing business owners wants is an unexpected 13.78% increase on a necessary expense. The problem is easily solved by taking a little bit of time to search, compare, and shop for low Massachusetts electricity rates.

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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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Customers of Eversource Energy living in the Boston and surrounding areas are quickly becoming familiar with the benefits of Massachusetts electricity choice. Competitive electricity suppliers are flocking towards the Boston market offering attractive offers that can save Eversource customers hundreds of dollars per year on their electric bills. The goal is simple for the competitive supplier – acquire as many new customers as possible in what is becoming one of the hottest electricity markets in the country. In trying to accomplish this goal many electricity suppliers are slashing their prices to entice first time Boston electricity shoppers to switch over to their service.

The ability to shop for competitive electricity rates has remained a foreign concept to the majority of Boston residents with switch numbers hovering around the 30% mark. Despite the fact that several companies are offering savings of more than 20% against the Eversource price to compare, seven residential customers out of every ten in the area have elected not to shop for competitive electricity rates. The low shopping numbers are suspected to be caused primarily by a lack of education and understanding of Boston electricity choice laws. Customers who are not participating in energy shopping are often unaware that switching electricity suppliers is an easy automated process that does not require the power to be turned off or repair personal to visit the customer’s property. The electricity switch process is unlike switching cable providers or cell phone carriers which can often require a consumer to dedicate hours to complete the process. In contrast, switching electricity suppliers in Boston can be done in less than five minutes by using an electricity price comparison website.

In order to entice consumers to shop for electricity rates, companies need to offer a price that is below the Eversource price to compare. Eversource Energy is the regulated utility company for the city of Boston and surrounding suburbs. As a regulated utility they are responsible for delivery power to all properties within their service area at distribution rates that are regulated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. Eversource Energy’s role as a regulated company is often a source of confusion to consumers who are being told that Massachusetts is now an electricity choice state. To clarify, it is the electricity generation or supply component that is open to choice, while the delivery of the power remains regulated.

In addition to charging their customers regulated distribution charges, Eversource Energy also charges a default generation rate to their customers who do not switch to a competitive Boston electricity supplier. Currently they are charging this rate to about 70% of their residential customers. When a competitive supplier can offer a rate below the default price to compare rate, they are able to advertise the difference as the amount of customer can save by switching. Eversource Energy is also responsible for invoicing their customers, even the ones who have elected to purchase their power form a competitive supplier. When a customer switches suppliers they still receive their monthly Eversoruce electric bill. The only difference is that the competitive supplier and rate is listed in the electricity generation supply portion of the electric bill. The distribution or delivery section of the bill remains the same regardless of whether of competitive supplier was chosen. Below is a list of some of the more competitive rate offers available in Boston compared to the current Eversource price to compare default rate.


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Western Massachusetts Electric Company recently announce a rate increase for their residential class that will take effect at the beginning of the new year. On January 1, 2016 the Western Mass Electric price to compare price will increase to $0.10394 per KWh from the previous $0.09767 rate. The rate change amounts to a 6.42% increase on the generation supply section of the electric bill.

The change will only take effect on customers who are on the basic service rate plan with Western Mass Electric, also known as the price to compare. Customers who do not select an alternative electricity company pay the basic service rate for power supply. Through Massachusetts electricity choice energy consumers have the ability to shop the market for competitive rate plans offered by licensed electricity companies. Some competitive plans offer significant savings (above 20%) against the price to compare default rate, giving consumers the ability to not only avoid the Western Mass Electric rate increase, but to also lower their monthly bills a substantial amount from what they are currently paying.

The Western Massachusetts Electric Company provides power to roughly 150,000 customers in west Massachusetts. The company is owned by Eversource Energy, who recently decided to change the branding of the Western Mass Electric logo on the electric bill to the new Eversource logo. Despite the branding change, the company still has the same ownership. Even though default rate payers can save more than 25% and avoid a price hike in January, to date only about 20% of customers in the area have switched electricity suppliers. The rate increase is expected to spur more shopping activity in the region.


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National Grid MA Variable Electric Customers See Increased Pricing Volatility

October 28, 2015

National Grid Massachusetts customers on the variable basic service rate have seen huge volatility in the price that they pay for electricity over the last year. After recent news of National Grid releasing their variable rate over the next six months, it is apparent that the volatility will continue. Consumers on the variable basic service […]

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