Basic service information and rates

Overview of basic service and basic service rates.

If you do not buy a supply product from the competitive market, you are buying the basic service supply product from your electric company.

Overview

If you have not chosen a competitive supplier, your electric company (Eversource, National Grid, or Unitil) will purchase electricity and deliver it to you through basic service. Basic service ensures that you will not be without a supply of electricity.  Basic service costs cover the supply component of your bill.  The delivery component will remain the same whether you are on basic service or with a competitive supplier.

Basic service pricing

If you are a residential or small commercial and industrial (C&I) basic service customer, you have two pricing options: 

  1. a 6-month fixed‑price option, where the price remains constant for 6 months, and
  2. a monthly pricing option, where the price changes each month. 

If you are a residential or small C&I basic service customer, you are placed automatically on the 6-month fixed-price option.  If you want to be placed on the monthly pricing option contact your electric company. 

If you are a medium or large C&I basic service customer, you have two pricing options: 

  1. a monthly pricing option, where the price changes each month, and
  2. a 3-month fixed‑price option, where the price remains constant for 3 months. 

If you are a medium or large C&I basic service customer, you are placed automatically on the monthly pricing option.  If you want to be placed on the 3-month pricing option contact your electric company.

Additional Resources

Basic service costs

Basic service prices have 3 cost components: 

  1. supply costs;
  2. renewable portfolio standards (RPS) compliance costs; and
  3. administrative costs. 

Your electric company collects these costs through basic service prices.

Supply Costs

The largest component of basic service costs is associated with the procurement of basic service supply.  If you are a residential or small C&I basic service customer, your electric company procures supply through competitive solicitations 2 times per year. In each solicitation, your electric company procures 50 percent of the required supply for a 12-month period.  The 6-month fixed price is the weighted average of the monthly prices over the 6-month pricing term. 

If you are a medium or large C&I basic service customer, your electric company procures supply through competitive solicitations 4 four times per year. In each solicitation, your electric company procures 100 percent of the required supply for a 3-month period.  The 3-month fixed price is the weighted average of the monthly prices over the 3-month pricing term. 

As a general rule, your electric company selects the supplier(s) who submits the lowest bids in each solicitation.  The DPU reviews the results of each basic service solicitation to ensure that they were the product of a sufficiently competitive process.       

RPS Compliance Costs

By law, all electric supply products (both competitive supply products and basic service) must comply with the Commonwealth’s RPS. The RPS establishes the minimum level of renewable energy resources that suppliers and the electric companies must include in their electric supply products.  Basic service includes a level of renewable energy resources that meets, but does not exceed, the RPS requirement. 

Administrative Costs

A small component of your basic service price includes the administrative costs your electric company incurs in procuring basic service.

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