Rhode Island electricity customers who receive their power from National Grid are embracing for a steep price increase in October. On October 1, 2018 the default rate for electricity, also known as the standard offer service, will increase from $0.08486 to $0.1099 per KWh. The higher price represents a 29.5% increase over the previous standard offer service that has been in effect for customers since April of this year; it is also the first time the rate has been above $0.10 since the end of 2015.
Standard offer service is a default rate that National Grid charges Rhode Island customers who have not chosen to purchase their power supply from a competitive electricity supplier. Though still relatively a new concept in the state, Rhode Island is an electricity choice state where customers have the option to shop for competitive electricity rates offered by companies who have been licensed to sell power by the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission. Deciding not to shop for competitive rates automatically puts a customer on the standard offer service rate which includes all of the electricity generation charges of the bill. Customers looking to prevent the National Grid price hike can do so by finding a licensed Rhode Island electricity supplier who is offering a lower rate.
Several Rhode Island competitive electricity suppliers are currently offering fixed electric rates that are lower than the National Grid standard offer service. Long term fixed rates that are a year or more will also eliminate budget uncertainty that exists with the default standard offer service which changes every six months. The new default rate that goes into effect on October 1 is the highest the rate has ever been since Rhode Island began its electricity choice program in January of 2014. With prices trending upward many customers are not taking any chances and locking in a fixed rate for as long as they can to protect themselves from potential further price hikes.
Below are current up to date rate offers from licensed Rhode Island electricity suppliers that have been authorized to sell to National Grid customers. While customers can shop and choose a new electricity supplier for the generation component of their bill, National Grid is still the sole power delivery company for their region in Rhode Island and they will continue to send the monthly electric bill to all of their customers. The only thing that changes when a Rhode Island National Grid customer selects a competitive supplier is the rate they pay on their bill; the competitive rate replaces the National Grid standard offer service rate.