Eversource MA Customers May Be Paying More in January

Eversource electricity customers in Western Massachusetts might see an increase in their rates starting in January if the state approves the requested rate increase. Although the company claims they will not see any direct profits from the rise in price, customers will notice the extra cost to them.

Rates for commercial customers will be as follows, if approved.

Fixed Price Option: January 1, 2018 – June 30,2018

Small C&I     11.559 cents per kWh

Medium & Large C&I     12.396 cents per kWh

Variable Price Option: January 1, 2018 – June 30,2018

Small C&I13.65313.96911.17810.0299.6319.862
Medium & Large C&I13.14313.28310.637N/AN/AN/A


Utility rate increases and the volatility of the market in general is enough to make customers wonder what options they have to take control of their costs. The best solution to this time of uncertainty is signing a long term fixed price contract, that will allow consumers to purchase energy at a fixed price for the duration of the contract. This takes out the worry that rates will increase and better allows businesses to budget for upcoming energy expenses.

If you are interested in helping your business fix energy costs and take back control of your expenses, but don’t know where to start feel free to reach out to Better Cost Control. We have been helping companies like yours save on energy procurement since 2002. We know the market and work with many suppliers to get you the best price possible. Feel free to contact us for a complimentary quote with no obligation to your business. Reach out today to help control your costs and gain peace of mind to get back to the important matters- your business.

Eversource Basic Service Rates Starting Jan 2016

Variable Electric Rate

Eversource (Nstar Electric) has filed new Basic Service rates for the period beginning January 1, 2016. This is the rate that customers that do not have a competitive supply contract will be paying.

Eversource Fixed Rate Small Commercial Customers, for the six month period beginning Jan 1, 2016, will pay a rate  of $0.10570/kWh.

For Eversource Fixed Rate C&I Customers, for the three month period beginning Jan 1, 2016, the rates will be NEMA Zone: $0.10801 and SEMA Zone: $0.10318.

Variable Small Commercial Customers will have monthly rates as follows:

Jan: $0.14106
Feb: $0.14053
March: $0.10089
April: $0.08329
May: $0.07289
June: $0.08462

Large C&I Customers (NEMA)

Jan: $0.11350
Feb: $0.11530
March: $0.09429

Large C&I Customers (SEMA)

Jan: $0.11307
Feb: $0.10593
March: $0.08997

As a comparison, as of the date of this posting, you can obtain a fixed price supply contract at a price of $0.091 to start in January and eliminate all that price volatility.  Contact us at 860-436-2768 to learn more.

Eversource Files Fall Default Basic Service Rates

Variable Electric Rate

Eversource (previously Nstar) has filed new electric basic service rates for the period beginning October 1, 2015 through December 31.

New Nstar basic service rates, in ¢/kWh, are below:

Small Business (Rate B1, B2, G1, G2, 33) - NEMA
Fixed July 1 through December 31: 9.868
Monthly Variable Rates:
October:                           8.224
November:                         10.412
December:                         15.482
Large C&I (Rate G3, T2) - NEMA

Monthly Variable Rates:
October:                           7.205
November:                          8.810
December:                         11.979

Fixed Price Option (Oct.-Dec.):    9.430

Large C&I (G3, T2) - SEMA
October:                           7.110
November:                          8.703
December:                         11.982

Fixed Price Option (Oct.-Dec.):    9.307

For WMECO, Western Mass Electric, the new basic service rates for Medium and Large Commercial will be:

Medium & Large C&I (G-2, T-4, T-2, T-5)

Monthly Variable Rates:
October:                           7.221
November:                          9.179
December:                         12.756

Fixed Price Option (Oct.-Dec.):    9.848

Visit Eversource to see rates.

Nstar rates in Massachusetts Remain High

Nstar has filed new electric basic service rates for the period beginning July 1, 2015, and the fixed rate for residential and small C&I customers remains above (or near) 10¢/kWh.

The current Nstar fixed residential and small C&I basic service rates are about 14¢/kWh.

The Nstar basic service rates below, in cents/kWh, include the Default Service Adder and Renewable Portfolio Standard and Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard adder.

Small C&I, Streetlighting
Fixed Price Option Jul. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015: 9.868

Monthly Variable Rates:
July:          9.313
August:        8.639
September:     7.855
October:       8.000
November:     10.224
December:     15.377

Large C&I-NEMA (rates are still out to bid, as of this posting)

Large C&I-SEMA
July:          8.514
August:        7.783
September:     7.050

Fixed Price Option: Jul. 1, 2015 – Sept. 30, 2015: 7.804

Now is the time to contract Electricity and Gas


Prices for electricity and natural gas are nearing record lows, making this a great time for customers to purchase their power ahead of time.

This is due to several factors, including a warmer-than-average weather outlook for spring, a surplus of natural gas supply and a pull-back in power prices.

Here’s what you need to know.

Warmer Weather Is Reducing Demand

For those living in the snow-covered regions of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, it seems hard to believe this winter has been relatively mild compared to last year and warmer-than-average temperatures are on the way. It’s true that last November was the coldest since 2000 and the eighth coldest nationally since 1950. However, this was followed by a warmer pattern in late November and early December. While certain regions have clearly had cold snaps throughout the winter, they haven’t been as widespread and long-lasting as the cold we experienced during last year’s Polar Vortex.

This means demand has fallen compared to last year, contributing to lower prices.

Now that the worst appears to be over and spring is just a few weeks away, the National Weather Service is forecasting a warm spring for the West, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions and a warmer-than-average summer along both coasts.

Natural Gas Surplus Keeps Prices Low

Withdrawals from natural gas storage continue to be well below what we experienced last year. In 11 of the last 13 weeks, natural gas withdrawals were smaller than last year. We saw a brief uptick in January, but recovering production and inconsistent demand for heating kept more natural gas in storage. Unless temperatures remain cold through March, we’re on pace to end the season with a surplus.

By contrast, last year’s heating season ended with a deficit in natural gas supply. The elimination of that deficit cut natural gas prices on the NYMEX almost in half. This historical correlation between the gas storage surplus and deficit and the NYMEX 12-month strip, as well as estimates of end-of-season storage, suggest prices could fall even lower this spring.

Gas Consumption Will Reach An All-Time High

With natural gas prices this low, we can expect power companies to use more natural gas and reduce their reliance on coal. We’ve seen an upward trend in natural gas consumption by power companies for the past decade, but now it’s on track to reach record levels, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Gas demand in the power sector is 6 percent higher than in 2014 and 16 percent above the five-year average level. More power companies are retiring aging coal plants and replacing them with natural gas units.

We can also expect to see a greater reliance on natural gas in the West, as less available water creates a decreased reliance on hydropower. In late January, snowpack levels were only about 25-40 percent of what they are normally are, and a weakening El Nino looks to be bringing less rain, which could create a drought in early spring.  During a good water year, hydropower can contribute to up to 30 percent of the power generation mix in the summer, which isn’t likely to happen this year.

As power companies consume more gas and production tapers off in 2015, we should expect to see natural gas prices eventually bottom out.

Now Is the Time To Buy

As natural gas prices continue to fall, long-term power prices, too, are within 1-2 percent of all-time lows. Since the start of the winter, prices have been down an average of $5.49 per mWh.

Taking advantage of these low prices now by purchasing a portion of your energy in advance can help offset the rising costs of capacity and transmission, which are occurring as power companies retire aging plants and build new infrastructure.

BCC offers a variety of energy pricing options, including the ability to lock in prices over the term of your contract, make smaller purchases over time based on market fluctuations or use a combination of these strategies.

Our energy management experts can help you identify the right solution to meet your needs. We also offer a variety of energy management tools that allow you to monitor prices and make smarter purchases based on the market.

Learn more about how you can be a proactive energy consumer with our pricing options and energy management tools—contact us today.

Massachusetts NSTAR Electricity Prices to Rise

Electricity TransformerNStar has filed with the DPU for a rate increase for its Massachusetts customers effective January 1.

Customers will see their NSTAR electricity prices rise by 22% to $0.0933/kWh for the six months ending June 30, 2013.  Interval meter customers will see rates of $0.13/kWh for the first two months of that period.  Part of the reason for this price increase is the limited natural gas pipeline capacity in the Northeast, with the increasing dependence on natural gas for both heating and electricity generation.

Two-thirds of Massachusetts’ electricity and more than half of New England’s power is generated by natural gas, according to the US Energy Department, so when the price of natural gas goes up, so do electricity costs. Wholesale natural gas prices in the region have spiked in recent winters when supplies delivered through pipelines could not keep up with demand during extended cold snaps.

The Energy Department has raised concerns that the region’s reliance on natural gas could lead to jumps in the fuel’s price this winter.

NStar and National Grid said the electricity they have purchased from power generators for the winter season is more expensive, so residents can expect to see their costs rise by several cents compared to last year.

Companies that obtain fixed price contracts for their electricity and natural gas have the ability to control their prices and protect themselves from the dramatic price fluctuations that sometimes occur in the market.

MA Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) Auction

REC Solar Energy from Solar PanelsFor the second time in less than a week, Massachusetts’ auction of solar renewable energy certificates (SREC) failed to clear on Wednesday, setting the stage for a third and final round. The auction is scrapped when bidding volume is less than the number of SRECs for sale. There are 38,866 SRECs being offered.
The Department of Energy Resources runs the SREC auction as a last-resort to sell unsold SRECs in years when annual supply is greater than demand.

This is the first time that the auction is being held because in 2010 and 2011 the SREC market was under-supplied. In 2012, supply exceeded demand, prompting the DOER to run the auction. The next round is scheduled for Friday. And if that fails to clear, then the SRECs will be returned to the sellers.

The DOER included a last-resort auction as a way of providing some price support to SRECs even when supply outpaces demand. Other SREC markets – without similar mechanisms in place – have typically seen prices crash following an installation boom and stay low until demand catches up. The auction has a fixed price of $300/SREC for buyers and $285/SREC for sellers. There is a $15 administrative fee.

Compliance entities are not required to participate, but the auction has been designed to try and attract buyers. SRECs purchased through the first round have an additional two years of eligibility. They can be used by compliance entities in 2013 or 2014. In the second round, the shelf life is extended through 2015. Longer eligibility increases the attractiveness of the underlying SRECs assuming parties view the $300 price tag as a good investment, calculating that the spot market will eventually be even higher.

Now that the first two rounds have yet to clear, the DOER will conduct its third and final attempt on Friday. On top of the extended shelf life, buyers face another incentive to participate because the DOER will raise the 2014 compliance requirement by an amount equal to the auction volume – 38,866 SRECs – if it does not clear.

A single SREC represents one MWh (or 1000KWh) of electricity.

For Massachusetts customers, this subject is important since the cost of SRECs is a part of the ancillary fees charged to customers.  A fixed price electricity contract, as long as it includes all ancillary fees, will protect the customer from the rising cost of SRECs.  Read more at the mass.gov website.

National Grid in Massachusetts Increases Basic Service Rates by 40%

National Grid customers in Massachusetts with Fixed Basic Service will see a rate increase on their bills starting on November 1, 2012.

G-1  Fixed customers will see a 9.53% electricity rate increase to $0.07/kWH for the period 11/1/12 to 4/30/13

G-2 SEMA customers will have electricity rates increase by 43% to $0.07231/kWH for the same period.

G-2 NEMA customers will have electricity  rates increase by 41.2% to $0.07478/kWH.

G-2 WCMA customers will have rate increased of 48.8% to $0.07486/kWH.

As a base of comparison, as of this posting on October 12, the one year fixed-price contracts for the above customers, with a November start, would be as follows:

G-2 SEMA: $.072

G-2 NEMA: $0.0722

G-2 WCMA: $0.07199