Energy & Lower Cost Choices for Cape & Island Consumers

Website illuminates power supply & lower cost choices for Cape & Islands consumers

For the first time, all electricity consumers on Cape Cod, Martha?s Vineyard, and Nantucket have opportunities to reduce their bills or support renewable energy, but power supply decisions are complex. The Tips for Choosing a Power Supplier page on the Cape & Islands Energy Information Clearinghouse website is designed to help consumers make sound choices.

Power supply accounts for more than 50% of electric bills and almost all of electricity?s environmental and social impacts. For Cape and Vineyard residents, supply options include Cape Light Compact, NStar, and Dominion Retail, as was the case in 2006. For residents on Nantucket, supply services are available from National Grid as well as MX Energy, a new entrant to the local market. Business consumers in the region may have many additional options, depending on usage patterns. Regardless of supplier, distribution companies?NStar or National Grid?remain responsible for keeping the juice flowing, providing power delivery services, and issuing bills.

Tips for Choosing a Power Supplier presents comprehensive information on supply issues and applies a novel analytical framework to compare individual choices. The framework accounts for rates and contract terms, as well as ?true costs??issues such as air and water pollution, public health, climate change, and national security that are associated with the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity but are not reflected in the price of each kilowatt-hour.

?The electricity marketplace offers opportunities to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but many consumers are not aware of their options.?

- Chris Powicki, principal of WEEinfo

For residential consumers, key insights from the Tips for Choosing a Power Supplier page are summarized below (tables comparing supply options are provided in PDF form, Cape & Vineyard here, Nantucket here):

  • For Cape and Vineyard residents, Dominion Retail offers the lowest fixed rate?about 10% lower than competing offers?and this rate is good through the end of the year. Relative to current rates from Cape Light Compact and NStar, Dominion Retail offers a monthly savings of about $5 for consumers using 500 kWh. Consumers must act by February 28 to take advantage of this offer. Contract terms, particularly a $50 fee for early termination, require careful consideration. Rates for Cape Light Compact and NStar will change on July 1.
  • For Nantucket residents, MX Energy is offering a teaser rate through April that is lower than National Grid?s current rate. National Grid will announce a new fixed rate in early April spanning the period from May 1 ? October 31. MX Energy?s rate for that period will vary according to market conditions and could be higher or lower than National Grid?s fixed rate.
  • All suppliers generally sell conventional "system power" products, with more than 60% of their energy produced by burning fossil fuels. For just a few extra dollars a month, local consumers can support renewable energy and help address climate change by purchasing green power products through the Cape Light Compact, through National Grid, or directly from environmentally conscious organizations.

?The electricity marketplace offers opportunities to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but many consumers are not aware of their options,? notes Chris Powicki, principal of Water Energy & Ecology Information Services. ?Given growing concerns about energy issues, helping consumers make informed decisions is important for economic, environmental, and social reasons.? welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on