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New England 2014 and beyond electricity rates going up

Discussion in 'New England' started by santana338, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. santana338

    santana338 Member

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    I got an email from my retail electric provider last week saying they were looking out for me and offering me a 24 month deal when my contract expires in December. And I will only be looking at a 44% increase in energy cost! Going form $0.0789/KWh to $0.1139/KWh. Yeah for me! But the lowly PSNH will be lower than the REP (ENH). I called ENH and they said because of the demand for natural gas all of New England will be seeing rates go up. Some as high as $0.16/KWh.

    Is anyone else seeing this? Is it time to invest in a solar array?
     
  2. Gwgan

    Gwgan Almost a wagon

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  3. santana338

    santana338 Member

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    PSNH has a TOU option, but this is from the email I got when I asked about TOU from PSNH:

    Our current supply rate is 9.87 cents per kWh. As of 01/01/15 we expect our supply rate to go to 9.61 cents per kWh. Optional time of day rate is best for customers that use the majority of their electrical usage over night between 8:00pm and 7:00am during this time you are billed about 10.1 cents per kWh. The customer service charge is increased to $28.77. In order for this to be an option you would have to use little to no electrical during the day as the off peak hours or 7:00am to 8:00pm the price per kWh is about 25 cents per kWh.

    So it doesn't look like TOU billing is really an option for most people.

    It is interesting that PSNH is actually going to be lowering their rate in January. I wonder if they are attempting to buy back some market share? The ENH guy I talked to today said PSNH is going to be firing up some coal powered plants to be able to offer these rates. But they probably wouldn't be able to keep the rate low for long.
     
  4. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    I'm on that schedule but I'll be calling after my Oct bill to go back to Standard offer until the new TOU schedule is announced and I can make a decision again in January. We're about 75% off peak and probably more in winter when the Volt will use more electricity.
     
  5. woof

    woof Model S #P683 Blue 85 kWh

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    Even with the glut of Natural Gas (due to fracking) apparently there is difficulty transporting it to New England, thus causing local shortages and raising the price.

    Natural Gas: Out of the Ground, Onto the Market Investing Daily


    And it's always time to invest in a solar array (well, perhaps not night time!).
     
  6. santana338

    santana338 Member

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    The only reference I saw to a new pipeline was:

    "Assuming all necessary approvals are granted, construction on Access Northeast will begin in 2016, with a projected in-service date of November 2018."

    So there doesn't appear to be any short term relief in sight.

    Although I'm not too favorable on fracking, coal is worse. But there doesn't seem to be much of an alternative. With the Northern Pass project bottled up it doesn't look like Quebec hydro will help the situation either.

     
  7. anthony

    anthony Member

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    I haven't received such a notice, but I do know there are options for other electricity providers in our area with a typically lower, kwh rate. For me switching to a TOU plan was a wash, and if you want to put in a solar array later, you can't be on a TOU plan anymore anyway (per PSNH).

    I'm hoping to start going solar soon as well.

    I think scs02 lives near us and has a solar array and be happy to talk to you about it.
     
  8. santana338

    santana338 Member

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    The only other REPs I know of are North American power ($0.0979/KWh for a 3 month contract and $0.1199/KWh for a 12 month contract) and Resident power. Resident is an aggregator with "me too" pricing and their website was messed up when I was looking last week so I have ruled them out for now. If you know of other options, please let me know.

    In looking at the cost of solar on one site I found I realized I pay 2X for hot water vs. electricity. Since I put a pellet stove in we pretty much only use the oil furnace for hot water and back-up heating. From an economic perspective I should probably address the oil usage first. Or maybe address both PV and solar hot water at the same time.

     
  9. shelbri

    shelbri Member

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    Since the title is New England, I thought I would provide some other points of reference.

    I just received my statement from Green Mountain Power for a home we have near Mount Snow Vermont. On the first page of the statement is the following statement: RATE DECREASE BEGINNING IN OCTOBER. The rate is dropping by 1.46% and additionally we are receiving a 1% credit. My current overall rate is $0.14959 so still high compared to your NH rates but moving in the right direction.

    At my primary residence in CT, our all in rate is $.1735/kWh (which includes $.01/kWh option for all renewable energy.) I believe CL&P is asking for a 10% rate hike to deal with infrastructure changes necessary after seeing the exposure from Hurricane Sandy.

    I looked into Solar via Solar City, who offered a rate at $0.135/kWh produced. I didn't pull the trigger because it requires a 20/yr lease and I don't think I can commit that long in my current home and don't want to deal with having to buy out the lease should I move and the new buyers not want to assume the lease.

    Anyway - just some information to consider. Love my S85 and even with my higher electrical rates, I figure I am drives for about $1.35/gallon compared to driving my ICE vehicles.
     
  10. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

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    October isn't when things get bad. Natural gas limits get reached late Nov./Dec. NSTAR's MA variable rate (which is pre-approved and a function of last year's disaster) is going from a supply charge of about 8.2 cents, to 13.6. The variable rate plans jump more.

    To get a good picture of New England, try downloading the free "ISO to Go" app, for droid and apple cell phones. It's free. As I write, the wholesale market rate is 1.7 cents. Then, try the app on a cold day, this January.

    We all should consider contacting our DPU's, or state DOER's, and tell them to hammer out a plan. Consumers need to make noise. All I see too often is veiled environment vs. industry voices neglecting the rate-payer. We're being drowned out by "don't expose those wires", "no more pipes" and "no long-term contracts". To see the effects of supply shortage (going on their fourth year), try the app. It will tell you how much worse things will be in 2016. I wish I were trying to be funny...
     
  11. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    I think you've all correctly diagnosed the problem. New England is hugely dependent on natural gas for its electricity and for home heating. The two major interstate pipelines from the west max out their capacity when it's cold (heating demand is high).

    You might reasonably ask why the pipelines weren't built big enough to meet the needs of retail gas customers and the gas-fired power plants. The answer is simple but ultimately is an unintended side effect of electric restructuring ("deregulation"). To build a new gas pipeline, you need FERC's permission. FERC only grants that permission if you have contracts for nearly all of the capacity you plan to build. Gas distribution companies, those that serve retail customers, are willing and able to sign such contracts when they see a future need, because they can recover the associated costs through regulated rates. What about power plants? Every large gas-fired plant in New England is owned by a non-regulated company, so they must recover all their costs through the sale of electricity and related products. But you don't earn a premium for having firm gas delivery rights, and if you were to buy such rights and found that you weren't dispatched fully, you'd have to resell those rights (probably at a loss). So, there's no financial incentive to contract with pipelines; indeed, quite the opposite. Even though we know collectively how much gas we're likely to use as a region, no individual market participant knows what fraction of that total will be used at its plants. Without some central planning entity on the gas side, we just won't build as much pipeline as the region can be expected to need.

    You might ask, why doesn't some investment bank or other third-party just buy the transmission rights, knowing that there's a price spread? The trouble is, as soon as you build the incremental capacity, the price spread collapses. Buyers of the transmission who don't have a financially firm contract to monetize today's price spread will lose.

    All this comes at a huge cost to the consumers. The cost of the price spread between New England delivery and Pennsylvania delivery, times the cost of all the natural gas used in New England, is multiples above the annualized cost of building a pipeline that would eliminate that price spread.
     
  12. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

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    It was in the billions, just last year alone I think. I found this relevant story on Bloomberg, today:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-06/northeast-u-s-gas-at-decade-high-for-winter-on-supply.html

    “The premium that is building in the Midwest and Northeast deliveries suggest that consumers are increasingly aware of the problem with delivery,” -Wait until they get the bill. A competition of optics, and finger pointing, will follow.
     
  13. shelbri

    shelbri Member

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    You guys are way beyond me when it comes to knowledge about energy production and cost. Thanks for sharing. I appreciate your comments and enjoy learning.

    I downloaded the suggested application and saw the current mix at 6pm was 28% renewable including hydro. A little misleading however when they include refuse in the mix. My layman view of renewable would be more like hydro, wind and solar not landfill gas, wood and refuse. The rest being mostly nuclear and natural gas. A very nice mix with low pollution (i know nuclear has issues.) Coal and oil are almost not used which is great.

    For me, cost is only one component and the potential spike in natural gas costs due to supply issues may have a positive benefit too. It makes renewable energy more competitve. I received a quote from Solar City to provide something like 80% of my electrical needs for $0.135/kWh. Lower than my current rate. If only I didn't have a South facing house where the panels needed to be on the front! However, the more competitive solar becomes, the more people will opt for this and reduce the need for pollutive forms of energy.
     
  14. HiTech

    HiTech Member

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    In case the people with National Grid felt left out, I just received an email today telling the "good news"! :crying:

    An Update on Winter Electric Rates:
    As you may know, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities recently approved an increase for electric supply prices for the period of November 1 through April 30. This means that, starting in November, residential electric customers using 500 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month will see an electric bill that is 37 percent (about $33 per month) higher than last winter. We asked for this increase because of higher energy supply prices. Energy supply prices are set by the commodity market, not National Grid. When we purchase energy on your behalf, we pass on those costs directly without a markup.


    Only a 37% increase from last year's high winter rates!
     
  15. Gwgan

    Gwgan Almost a wagon

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    Public radio this morning reiterated this idea of electric rates going up because the natural gas pipeline is limited. There has been an aggressive buildout of natural gas to residential consumers over the past couple of years here. Is this really poor planning on the part of the natural gas company.
     
  16. RiverBrick

    RiverBrick Active Member

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    This is unfortunate. Quebec has a surplus of electricity and is looking to unload it. A deal could certainly be made, if there were a way to deliver.
     
  17. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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  18. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Funny how NIMBYs think that their houses and the roads that go to them aren't a scar on the landscape.
     
  19. santana338

    santana338 Member

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    PSNH is planning to fire up coal burning plants this winter. It may be a ploy to show what happens if it is not allowed to more forward with Northern Pass. The higher prices this winter is going to get the Northern Pass opposition's attention. It is a tough call.

    Personally, I would rather see New England use more of Quebec's hydro power than putting in more pipelines and burning natural gas. I'm just hoping there is a way to transmit the power that is agreeable to the conservationists. I think if you spend more to bury the lines in the White Mountains, that would work out the best in the long run.
     
  20. tga

    tga Active Member

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