June 21, 2016
A review by the Retail Energy Supply Association (RESA) finds competitive retail energy suppliers in New Hampshire actively posting more than 70 different residential product offerings at prices highly competitive with default rates offered by the state’s utility distribution companies.
“New Hampshire’s website presents a wealth of competitive electricity products that offer Granite State consumers the opportunity to realize savings on their bill,” said Marc Hanks, RESA’s New England chairman. “But there are also a wide range of value-added product offerings, the most prominent among them being ‘green’ energy products that offer consumers an opportunity to buy clean electricity that helps the environment.”
A significant number of the competitive offers – 19 or roughly 27 percent – provide the customer with 100 percent renewable energy.
“Unlike the distribution utilities that have a captive customer base, electricity suppliers must have compelling products and provide high-quality service that will attract and maintain customers. Competitive suppliers compete on price, but are also working strongly to differentiate themselves from their competitors in other ways. This is driving innovation and value for the benefit of consumers,” Hanks said.
RESA strongly encourages consumers to be smart, educated shoppers and pay close attention to the terms and conditions of the contract they enter into, just as they do when shopping for cell phones, Internet service plans, cable television packages, or home heating oil.
Responding to interest among consumers and state regulators, RESA has developed a Consumer Education Guide designed to help customers make informed decisions when shopping for competitively priced energy products. RESA’s guide is easily accessible and provides general information on competitive suppliers, what to look for when considering a contract offer, pricing and product options, and what to expect from legitimate sales interactions.
When shopping and assessing competitive supplier rate plans that best serve their energy needs, it is important that New Hampshire electricity consumers know and appreciate that utility default service rates are periodically adjusted and vary by utility. For example, Eversource Energy adjusts its rates every six months on Jan. 1 and July 1, while Unitil customers will see default rates adjusted on June 1 and Dec. 1. Shopping electricity consumers can also find the current utility default service rates on the state’s comparison website.
Consumers should determine whether their contract has an upfront “enrollment” fee or early termination charge should they opt to change to a different retail supplier or return to the utility before they complete the term of their existing contract.
Moreover, the New Hampshire shopping comparison website provides practical and helpful advice regarding choosing an energy supplier, how to switch your energy supplier and what to ask suppliers.
“Some consumers may shop based on price, while others may shop based on budget billing options or product types, such as obtaining energy from environmentally friendly sources like wind and solar power,” said Hanks. “New Hampshire’s competitive retail energy market provides customers with choice, and as competitive suppliers we want the state’s consumers to be wholly satisfied with their shopping experience. RESA member companies desire a robust and sustainable retail electricity marketplace where we continue to offer innovative products.”
RESA is the nation’s leading association of competitive energy suppliers dedicated to creating and sustaining vibrantly competitive electricity and natural gas markets for the benefit of consumers.
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