Following the announcement of a 30% rate increase from one of the Commonwealth’s largest utilities, the Retail Energy Advancement League (REAL) today released a guide to help Massachusetts customers shop for competitive electric suppliers and save money (view the guide here).
In early October, National Grid announced that its electricity basic service rates in Massachusetts for residential and commercial customers are increasing about 30% beginning November 1, 2023. National Grid’s new fixed residential basic service rate will increase to 18.213 cents per kWh, about 30% higher than the current rate of 14.115 cents per kWh.
In Massachusetts, customers have the ability to shop the competitive retail energy market to compare products and choose a retailer other than their default utility provider for the supply portion of their bill. The competitive retail electric market is regulated and overseen by the Department of Public Utilities, which also manages www.EnergySwitchMA.gov, an online platform where customers can make comparisons of competitors’ current electric rates, offers, and contract terms, review different sources of electricity and make a selection based on their household’s energy usage, preferences and needs.
As of Oct. 5, 2023, there were more than 30 competitive energy suppliers on the Energy Switch MA website offering contracts ranging from 12 to 36 months where National Grid customers could lock in a fixed rate that can save them up to 25% off their basic service winter electric bill. Some of these products also provide 100% renewable energy.
Right now, nearly half a million Massachusetts consumers choose a competitive electric supplier rather than their default utility provider. Some shop for 100% renewable energy, some choose products that provide long-term predictability to their utility bills to protect from spikes like we saw this winter, and some seek out the lowest price available. New data released this week shows that Massachusetts residents could save as much as $24 million this month by enrolling with a competitive supplier.
“Customers choose competitive electric suppliers for many reasons: lower rates, predictable bills, or help aligning with their personal environmental goals. Given the increasing rates that Massachusetts customers are facing, we want to equip them with tools specific to price shopping so they can make informed decisions and play an active role in helping Massachusetts achieve its ambitious climate goals” said Christopher Ercoli, President and CEO of the Retail Energy Advancement League.