For Many, Electric Rates Will Go DownNov 28, 2020 06:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson
Bellingham Power Choice, the town's electricity program, will offer a lower price for most participants starting in December, the result of a new electricity supply contract with NextEra Energy Services. It will take effect as Bellingham’s current contract with Direct Energy ends.
Bellingham Power Choice (BPC) includes two electricity choices, Power Choice Standard (PCS), the default program offering which the majority of participants are enrolled in, and Power Choice Green (PCG), which is a 100% renewable energy option. Beginning with December 2020 meter reads, the new price for PCS will be 10.755 cents/kWh, which is nearly half a cent lower than the current price.
The new contract will also increase the amount of New England-based renewable electricity in the PCG option. With the new NextEra Energy Services contract, PCG participants will receive all of their electricity from renewable energy projects within New England. Increasing the demand for locally produced renewable electricity, will help drive the development of new renewable energy projects on the New England grid more aggressively than in the past. As a result of this change, the PCG price will increase by a little more than two cents/kwh to 13.863 cents/kWh.
“Bellingham Power Choice continues to provide strong benefits for our community,” said Bellingham Town Administrator Denis Fraine. “Through the program, we have a trustworthy alternative to the high prices and early termination fees that can come with other electricity offers. By the end of the current contract, BPC will have saved our community over $880,000 since 2017.”
The new PCS price is more than one and a half cents lower than National Grid’s winter residential Basic Service price of 12.388 cents/kWh, which took effect on Nov. 1, and it’ss anticipated to be lower than Eversource’s winter price as well, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2021. It should be noted that National Grid and Eversource Basic Service prices change every 6 months for residential and commercial/small business customers and every 3 months for industrial/large business customers, so their prices may at times be lower than the Power Choice price. BPC aims to provide savings when compared with the average of the utilities’ changing prices, but because future National Grid and Eversource prices are not known, savings compared with their prices cannot be guaranteed.
The new prices are the result of a 24-month contract with NextEra Energy Services and apply to all rate classes. The new prices will be fixed Dec. 2020—Dec. 2022.
No action is required from electricity customers who are currently enrolled. All active program participants will be automatically enrolled into the new NextEra Energy Services contract with their December meter read, and they will be enrolled in the same program option they have in the current Direct Energy contract. Participants will first see the new program price on their January 2021 electricity bills, and their electricity supplier will be listed as “NEXTERA ENGYSRVCS MA-BELLINGHAM AGG.”
For more information or to enroll as a new participant in the program, visit the program website, www.BellinghamPowerChoice.com, or contact customer support at 844-241-8595.
Tax-exempt account holders will need to submit tax-exemption documentation to NextEra Energy Services to retain their tax-exempt status in the program. This documentation must be submitted to NextEra Energy Services even if it was submitted previously to National Grid or Eversource and Direct Energy. Information about where to submit tax-exemption documentation is available at www.BellinghamPowerChoice.com.