If you have lived in Massachusetts over the last two years and are responsible for paying the electricity bill you have probably noticed some changes. First, all of a sudden you have numerous electricity companies advertising to you on almost every platform imaginable. You used to pay whatever rate National Grid told you to pay, but now you seem to have a choice from many alternative electricity suppliers. Second, if you haven’t selected an alternative supplier, the total amount on your monthly electric bill has been on a roller coaster ride. National Grid residential customers living in central Massachusetts saw their electric rates for supply service more than double in November of 2014, followed by a significant reduction in May 2015, and are once again about to see a substantial basic service rate increase of 40% in November 2015 that will last through April of next year. All of these changes might have you worried about what can possibly happen next, but have no fear, taking a few moments to read this article and learn about the benefits of Massachusetts electricity choice will relieve your worries and save you a lot of money in the process.
If you are receiving advertisements from companies claiming to be electricity suppliers who are alternatives to National Grid you are not alone, and the services they are offering should be explored. As might be the case in any industry, not all companies in the electricity retail business are equal and not all offers advertised on television turn out to be exactly what you get when the purchase is made. However there are a number of honest and reliable electricity suppliers offering rates in Massachusetts who are looking to gain you as a customer for many years. In an attempt to do this they understand that they must offer you a price for power at a rate that will save you money and avoid any type of extra charges that will upset you later.
In order to sell electricity to National Grid customers the electricity supplier must be licensed by the state through the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. Even though Massachusetts is now an electricity choice state, customers do not have a choice of who delivers power to their home. The power delivery or distribution business remains regulated and continues to be the responsibility of National Grid. National Grid receives revenues from the distribution charges found on the electric bill, whose amounts need to be approved by the state since it is a regulated charge. The supply portion of the electric bill, which includes generation and transmission charges, is the part that is open to competition. Customers who do not participate in the state electricity choice program pay a default rate for electricity generation. The default rate tends to be higher than the lowest competitive rates that are offered by alternative suppliers, and are also highly volatile which has lead to huge increases in the monthly invoice that many customers have not worked into their budget.
The high volatility of the default rate is one of the most important reasons to learn about Massachusetts’ electricity choice program and eventually find the best alternative supplier to National Grid. However it is important to understand that the best alternative supplier is not the same for each individual. The beauty of electricity choice is that it gives consumers multiple options and allows an individual to find the solution that is the most optimal for their specific needs and requirements. The obvious and most common attribute to the merits of an electricity supplier is the rates that they are offering; the lower price the more attractive. However there are scenarios where customers might be willing to pay a higher price for electricity. Certain consumers may find the best alternative supplier to be the one that offers a low, but not the lowest, rate for a two year period, thus eliminating the price volatility problem of the National Grid default price. Another scenario could be a customer willing to pay a premium for electricity that is generated for wind power or another renewable resource.
There are a number of alternative electricity suppliers offering service to National Grid customers in Massachusetts, with more popping up every month. While all of these companies need to be licensed with the state, how they operate and how they word their contracts have a lot of flexibility. In looking for the best alternative supplier it is important to make sure that there are no hidden charges and that the rate is an exact comparison to the National Grid default rate, also called the basic service rate. All rate offers below have been vetted to make sure that prices are comparable to the basic service rate and that there are no hidden fees or expenses.