Green Savings Tip: Shop for Lower Electricity Rates

Recently I shared some of Wethersfield’s Green Energy initiatives with the Wethersfield-Rocky Hill Rotary Club. Many concerned citizens want to be “greener,” and to save money, but  often times they don’t know where to start.

Here’s a quick tip – shop around for lower electricity rates. Didn’t know you could? You aren’t alone.

Laws deregulating electric utilities in CT have separated generators of electricity from distributors of electricity. What this means is that previously, a company like the Connecticut Light and Power Company could create electrical power, distribute it, and bill its customers at government-controlled rates. Following deregulation, CL&P became a distributor only. Other companies entered the field of electric generation. While CL&P alone bills the customer, it collects fees for both itself and the firm the customer has selected as the generator.

To give you an idea of the savings, Wethersfield used to pay about $750,000 per year for electricity used in its schools. By encouraging town officials to bundle school energy use, bargaining for a good rate, and taking advantage of the competition among the firms generating electricity, we saw the charges drop 25% to 35%–saving about $280,000 per year.
Similar savings await businesses and individuals. But, few people have enjoyed the intended benefit of deregulation because they do not realize how much they can save by shopping around for the lower rates. Because the bills come from the distributors, such as CL&P, consumers easily overlook the right to pick their producers.

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Matthew Forrest speaks to the Wethersfield-Rocky Hill, CT Rotary Club on Environmental Initiatives