dan2872 t1_iy804pk wrote

Antivenom doesn't help much with boa constrictors.

I don't disagree with you, but there's no sign of that happening. My main point is the supply/delivery split itself effectively protects profits instead of the freedom of choice it supposedly provides, which has combined with everything else going on to jack the rates way up.


dan2872 t1_iy6njir wrote

If you've seen the complaints on this sub before, you probably know that 1/2 - 2/3 of your electric bill is delivery. You may not know that that's only come about relatively recently, when about a decade ago the rules changed to allow you to choose your own energy supplier. Supply vs. Delivery has been established and presented as completely siloed pools that can't cross over. Supply is supposed to be passed-along, delivery is where the margins are (supposed-to-be, I don't see the books) made.

Now a global natural gas shortage has sent prices through the roof while we've been decommissioning nuclear plants and trying to move away from dirtier energy sources like coal. Investments are being made towards solar and wind, but the storage infrastructure has yet to catch up. So most of our electricity comes from natural gas, which has been getting more expensive already. It hit a tipping point with the war in Ukraine, with Europe seeking new gas sources and all the accompanying speculation. As a result, the supply rate is pretty much doubling, which will result in a 33 - 50% increase in our electric bills. Municipalities are in a similar boat with prices increasing but their contracts tend to be steadier and longer which means we're not seeing quite the same increase on the municipal front yet. However, compared to other states, especially in our region*, and globally, things aren't much different so maybe we're not being screwed worse than most other places.

I do wonder though, had the Utilities been mandated to diversify their energy sources instead of isolating the supply costs from the delivery and transmission, would we be in the same boat where we're being told they have no choice but to pass those costs along directly, or has the illusion of choice meant that profits will never be dug into when it comes to supply? I can't help but think that if supply wasn't isolated from the rest of the bill there'd be more wiggle room now. Instead, delivery/transmission rates already include the profit margin, and supply rates are supposedly "passed on". Effectively, the supply rate is insulated from any competition or loss and 'preventing' the Utilities from dipping into Delivery profits.


^*That ^said, ^Eversource ^owns/runs ^many ^of ^the ^electric ^grids ^for ^neighboring ^states


But also be cautious of the alternate suppliers. Some of them will likely be a better deal, but pay attention to contract lengths and termination fees. Gas and oil prices have started to fall. This could be short-term, and a 3-year lock could be great. However, if prices do drop significantly in the next few months, the supply rate very well may fall below whatever you get locked into. I have great skepticism that Eversource or UI will drop the rates, but I'm also highly skeptical of the number of companies who are advertising like crazy to lock you into an alternate supply rate for 3-years. Are they the benevolent angel we may hope for, or are they making a different wager?

Edit: ETFs are illegal (and has been for a bit), but it may take a billing cycle or two for any switch to take place. You won't necessarily be notified when your rate is set to change, like my Comcast bill, so make note and set a reminder!