Eversource Energy announced that they will be increasing their power supply rates substantially at the beginning of 2017 for their residential and small business customers receiving the default basic service rate. Residential customers – who have been paying $0.08208 for basic service electricity since July 1, 2016 – will see the rate swell to $0.09996 on January 1, 2017 which will first appear on the February 2017 Eversource electric bill. Roughly 573,000 residential customers are currently on the basic service rate structure.
Basic service serves as a default electricity supply price for those customers who do not shop for competitive power as allowed by Massachusetts electricity choice laws. In Massachusetts, the electricity generation supply portion of the electric bill has been deregulated, allowing for alternative suppliers to offer rate plans to all Eversource customers. The basic service default rate is charged to customers who do not select an alternative offer. Customers who are currently on a competitive plan will not be affected by the increase.
As of September 2016 Eversource reported that 38% of their residential customers were purchasing their power supply from a competitive supplier. The 21.7% rate increase at the beginning of the year is expected to increase shopping activity in the Eversource east Massachusetts service area which includes the city of Boston and surrounding cities. As the second largest electricity utility in Massachusetts a number of large competitive suppliers have entered the market in hopes of gaining new customers. The result has been a large number of competitive and alternative green energy offers for Eversource customers.