Energy Utility Bills Increase by 5 Percent in Massachusetts

The latest news from Western Massachusetts Electric Co. (WMECO) is a biWMECO Utility Bills Increaset of a catch-22 in that there has been a decrease in one area only to avail and increase in another. So, how is the public to receive such news? Are locals going to have difficulty adapting to this increase? If Massachusetts weren’t deregulated than there may be a bit more of a backlash, but seeing as customers of WMECO have options, this alteration may not exactly cause as much of an uproar as possible.

The Increase and Decrease in Price

The teetering WMECO network of customers is about to experience the highs and lows of this local utility. Although the utility’s delivery costs are dropping in 2012, there will be an increase of about 5% in customers’ total utility bill. Though not set in stone, these changes must first be approved by the state.

It appears that the decrease in delivery fees is actually in place to lessen the blow of an increase in supply rates, which will drive a customers’ bill to be about 5% higher than previous months. This 5% increase is actually an average released by spokeswoman Sandra Ahearn.

If one reads between the lines, some customers will not see much of a change, while others may see more than 5% increase in bills. This is of course only for customers who receive their electricity through WMECO instead of a competitive supplier.

Competitive Suppliers

Not exactly thrilled to take your chances with the 5% average? Well, thankfully Massachusetts is a deregulated state where customers can choose among several electric suppliers. There are several, all of which have their own MA electricity rates, plans, and services. Though you will avoid the increase in prices by choosing a different supplier than WMECO, you must be sure to review all the fine print and understand what you’re signing up for-as some are fixed rate plans and others aren’t.

Make sure to ask valuable questions such as, "Am I bound to this plan by a contract? Are there any discontinuation fees should I choose to stop the services?"

Uncertain whether it’s worth it to start seeking an alternative? CEO of WMECO Peter Clarke thinks it might be time for some customers to do just that! In a statement, Clarke says, "The increase in price is likely a reflection of seasonality and we encourage customers to shop for a competitive supply price."

Timeframe for Price Change

According to the Berkshire Eagle, the price changes will take place in January 2012 with the decrease in delivery taking place on January 1 and the increase in supply increasing on February 1.

Although this change in price may seem a bit intense to some customers, this isn’t all that rare for WMECO as they make changes to their prices about twice a year: January and July.

At the end of the day it’s great that Massachusetts’ residents and businesses can benefit from choosing their own supplier. If WMECO were in an unregulated state, customers would have to withstand the change in price.


Publish Date: 2011-12-29 15:12:16

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