National Grid of Massachusetts enacted a large rate increase on November 1, 2018 to their residential customers who are on the basic service rate structure. Basic service is a term for the price charged to electricity customers who have decided to not participate in the deregulated Massachusetts electricity market by shopping for competitive rates. Residential customers who have already shopped and are currently on a fixed electricity rate plan with an competitive Massachusetts electricity supplier will not be affected by the rate change.
Under the new basic service rate structure, residential customers will see the rate they pay for electricity supply rise by 26.2% starting on the first of November. The previous rate of $0.10870 will catapult by a full 2.848 cents to the new price of $0.13718. Customers will start to notice the rate increase when they receive their National Grid electric bill in December. Competitive prices are pushing back against the new higher basic service rate providing an outlet for customers to save money and prevent the severity of the rate increase. Competitive electricity suppliers are able to provide rates based on current market conditions and intelligent wholesale purchasing decisions as opposed to the default basic service rate which is determined by an auction held at a set time. When competitive Massachusetts electricity prices are lower than the National Grid basic service rate a clear cost savings benefit is presented to consumers who can lower their electric bill by simply selecting a competitive electricity rate plan.
Several states in the New England area, including Massachusetts, have moved towards electricity deregulation in recent years allowing residents to choose an alternative electric supplier for their generation costs. The creation of a competitive electricity market has created an abundance of electric rate options that customers can now choose between throughout the state’s three major electric utility service areas. Electricity price advertising has also helped consumers to better understand the Massachusetts electricity choice laws. Once a customer becomes more educated with electricity deregulation and starts shopping for a competitive rate, they are more likely to continue the trend and choose a new plan once the current plan has expired as opposed to going back to the National Grid basic service rate.
Electricity rate plans have several characteristics that consumers should compare to see which plan is a best fit for them. An efficient way to shop for electricity rates is by utilizing the search engines provided by online electricity price comparison sites. Seeing multiple offers stacked up against each other, as well as against National Grid’s basic service rate, provides a visual experience for the consumer to select the rate that will most satisfy their demands. Changing from one Massachusetts supplier to another can completely be taken care of through the comparison site; the submission of the online enrollment process finalizes the actual switch that will then occur instantly on the next available or scheduled meter read date. Perhaps even more beneficial than the initial switch is the ability for customers to choose a new electricity supplier once the first contract comes to an end, preventing down time where the customer can go on a unattractive variable rate.
All competitive rate plans below are offered by competitive Massachusetts electricity suppliers who have been licensed by the state to offer service to customers receiving their electricity by National Grid in Massachusetts. While Massachusetts electricity choice laws allow customers to shop and choose competitive rates, they also dictate that National Grid will continue to deliver electricity to customers within their service area and regulated distribution charges. The biggest take away from this system is that the quality of power is the same no matter which competitive supplier plan is selected.