In March 1998, the retail electric market opened for Massachusetts electricity customers. Electricity bills now contain two main sections. One section is the cost of delivering the electricity while the other is the cost of generating or supplying the electricity. Massachusetts residential, commercial, and industrial customers can chose a competitive electric supplier or stay on utility standard service rates.
To shop for Massachusetts electric rates, have a copy of your most recent utility bill handy. First, look at the bill to see your current electricity rate. This usually shows up on the bill as the Generation Rate, Supply Rate, or Generation Service Charge. This gives you a price to compare when shopping. To enroll with a competitive supplier, you will also need your utility account number from the bill statement.
You can choose from several highly rated competitive electric suppliers offering variable and fixed-rate plans. Some electric suppliers also offer value-added products and services. For example, consumers can choose to purchase electricity generated from renewable resources.
Electric Utilities in Massachusetts
If your home is served by an investor-owned utility, you have the freedom to shop for your electricity supply rate. In Massachusetts, the utility names have changed over the past few years. The investor-owned utilities include:
- Eversource (formerly NSTAR), which includes the old service areas of
- Boston Edison
- Commonwealth Electric
- Cambridge Electric
- Western Massachusetts Electric
- Unitil (formerly Fitchburg Gas & Electric Light)
- National Grid, which includes the Massachusetts Electric and Nantucket Electric service areas
These utilities are still responsible for the safe and reliable delivery of electricity to your home or business. Their level of service does not depend on whether you stay on their standard supply rate or switch to a competitive electric supplier. The utilities remain regulated by the Massachusetts DPU.