The State Public Service Commission, responding to the recent disclosure that nearly six of every seven National Grid customers who bought their electricity from an energy services company paid more than they would have with a utility, said Thursday it will do a formal assessment of the state’s competitive energy market.
The review will look at how the state’s deregulated electricity and natural gas markets have affected consumers, especially residential and small nonresidential customers. The review is aimed at determining if the competitive markets are functioning as they were intended and looking for ways to improve them, said Garry Brown, the PSC’s chairman.
Roughly six of every seven National Grid customers who bought their electricity through an energy services company during the last two years paid almost $21 a month more than they would if they had continued to buy their power from the utility, according to an analysis of customer billing data disclosed as part of the utility’s ongoing rate case. The one in seven National Grid electricity customers who paid less than they would have through the utility saved an average of a little more than $2 a month.
For the roughly 10 of every 11 National Grid consumers who switched to an energy services company for their natural gas service, they paid an average of almost $11 a month more, according to the National Grid data.
Fewer than one of every 11 National Grid customers who buy their gas from an energy services company paid less than the utility charged during that same 24-month period, saving an average of about $2.50 a month.
PSC staff said there is a wide range of prices paid by energy services customers, partly reflecting the additional purchase options they offer, such as fixed-rate contracts and renewable energy sources.