Cape Light Compact announces new rates for 2014


Cape Light Compact (CLC) recently announced new electricity supply prices for residential, commercial, and industrial customers, effective with meter read dates January 2014 through December 2014.

The new basic electric price for residential customers is 9.09 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), according to a recent CLC press release. That is an increase of .96 cents or 11.8 percent, from the previous six-month rate of 8.129 cents per kWh for July through December 2013.

The new residential rate is higher than electric rates for last winter, January 2013 through July 2013, which was 7.672 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). CLC said the price is higher than the previous six months because of two factors.

The first is that the cost to deliver natural gas in New England, which is used in gas-fired power plants to generate electricity and is the basis for the electricity prices in the region, has skyrocketed over the last two years. The second is a winter reliability program approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“This program will be implemented by the Independent System Operator New England and will address the region’s over-dependence on natural gas for generation of electricity,” the press release said. “This is to ensure that there will be enough non-natural gas generation available to meet the region’s needs.”

Unlike in the past, CLC’s new electricity supply prices will be in effect on a calendar year, rather than a six-month, basis.

“While our residential prices are lower than the local distribution company’s [NSTAR] for the first half of 2014, we do recognize that they may be higher in the second half of the year,” the press release explains. “Still, fixing prices for the calendar year will help protect our consumers from the dramatic swings that result from the volatility of the natural gas market.”

NSTAR’s fixed rate for residential customers for January through June 2014 is 9.33 cents per kWh.

When the electrical industry was deregulated, power companies had to choose whether to be in the distribution or supply business. CLC is a public energy services organization created in 1997 to work with the combined buying power of the region’s 200,000 electric consumers to negotiate for low-cost electricity and other public benefits related to energy.

CLC was authorized by 21 towns and two counties on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard to choose the electric supplier for their residents and businesses. NSTAR still owns and maintains the poles and wires, and is responsible for billing.

CLC has contracted with ConEdison Solutions through the end of 2014 to deliver energy, which appears at the bottom of electric bills for CLC power supply customers. The distribution portion of the bill contains charges from NSTAR.