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Competitive Supply Tip:
When leaving a competitive supplier for another supplier, or going back to Standard Offer, make sure to contact your current supplier. As always, review the terms and conditions of your contract to ensure you won’t incur early termination penalties.
Questions? Email us at: EmpowerRI@dpuc.ri.gov

 

Competitive Energy Suppliers - Q&A

Can I obtain electricity from a competitive supplier?

Yes, in fact this has been common for larger commercial and industrial accounts, though a number of companies have solicited residential and small commercial customers. Non-regulated Power Producers must be registered with the Division to offer service in Rhode Island . Here are link to a list of Competitive Suppliers serving residential customers and commercial and industrial customers. Each is a link to pages maintained by National Grid. While these companies may have customers in the various rate classes, not all may be currently offering service to new customers.

Can I request a block placed on my account, to prevent a switch to a competitive supplier?

Yes, If you would like your account blocked from switching to a competitive supplier you can do so by contacting National Grid's Customer Contact Center.

If I choose a competitive supplier, will I end my business relationship with my current distribution company?

No, the competitive supplier is responsible for the energy cost portion of your bill. The electric distribution company will continue to deliver power to your home or business, and respond to service calls, emergencies and storm restoration.

What should I consider in selecting a competitive supplier?

As with any contract, you should do your homework and fully research the terms of the proposed agreement. Some factors to consider are, whether the prices quoted are fixed or variable, whether there are minimum bill amounts and whether there are any early termination fees. You may also look into the the company's customer service mechanism.

What Information should I have to make the best choices?

You should know the current Standard Offer price offered by your electric distribution company, and when that price may be adjusted. If you are a competitive supply variable rate customer, it would be helpful to understand how and when you will know of price changes. Also, knowing your billing cycle dates may offer some guidance in determining whether to accept a competitive supply offer, to transition back to Standard Offer, or to accept another competitive supply proposal.

How do I compare prices?

Make certain that the price quoted by a competitive supplier includes all the factors associated with energy cost. National Grid's Standard Offer rates can be found on our website (link). Under the current Standard Offer procurement arrangement, residential and rates are scheduled for adjustment (up or down, based on market factors) in 6-month intervals at the start of the calendar year. Industrial rates are adjusted on a quarterly basis.

Why am I seeing a one-time billing adjustment after selecting a competitive supplier?

The Commission voted on July 1, 2015 to eliminate the Standard Offer billing adjustment.

However, for bills issued prior to that date, you may have seen see an additional charge or a credit. The six month residential Standard Offer rate is comprised of an average of the the underlying rates for each individual month. Consequently, if the underlying rates were higher than the six-month average at the time you left Standard Offer, you would have to pay an additional charge for the actual cost of that commodity consumed in that period. If the underlying rates were lower, you would receive a refund. (Link to current underlying monthly prices for National Grid's Standard Offer)

National Grid's tariff language addresses this issue:

Customers in the Residential Group and customers in the Commercial Group billed under the Fixed Price Option who leave Standard Offer Service to receive Generation Service from a Nonregulated power producer shall be subject to a billing adjustment for the time they were billed under the Standard Offer Service rate during the current pricing period. Specifically, the billing adjustment shall be based on the difference between the Standard Offer Service rate in effect for the current pricing period and the actual monthly contract rates for the same period, multiplied by the Customer's kilowatt-hour usage during the same period. The billing adjustment can be either a charge or a credit.

Need more information -? click here for our full brochure

If you still have additional questions call the Consumer Section of the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers --- (401) 780-9700

 


RI Public Utilities Commission, 89 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI 02888
Voice: 401-941-4500 • Email: thomas.kogut@dpuc.ri.gov

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