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RESA: Over $200 Million In Savings Available To Residential Customers Under Massachusetts Retail Electric Choice Through First Half Of Year

August 6, 2019

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Copyright 2010-19
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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Responding to the latest report issued by the Massachusetts Attorney General, the Retail Energy Supply Association (RESA) said that an analysis shows that over $200 million in savings were available to Massachusetts residential customers from retail electric choice during the first sixth months of 2019

As first reported by, the AG had said that residential customers on retail supply paid $76 million more than default service from July 2017 to June 2018 (story here)

RESA said that the AG's call to end residential electric choice, "flies in the face of an independent market study that shows residential customers could have saved more than $204 million in the first two quarters of 2019."

RESA said that a study conducted by a consultant shows that retail electric supply companies routinely offer dozens of rates below the Massachusetts basic service price. For example:

First Quarter 2019

January - March: 547 offers below Massachusetts price to compare

January - March potential market savings = $106,728,628

Second Quarter 2019

April - June: 599 offers below Massachusetts price to compare

April - June potential market savings = $98,055,479

"Further, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) also shows that consumers in states that have undergone restructuring have saved significantly compared to those in monopoly states," RESA said

Citing such data for Massachusetts from 2008 to 2017, RESA said that electricity prices for all sectors decreased by 0.6%. But over the same period, electricity prices in monopoly states increased by 18.7%. RESA said that electricity prices for Massachusetts residential customers increased by 7.7%. However, over the same period, electricity prices in monopoly states for residential customers increased by 22.3%

"If Massachusetts had not allowed residential retail competition and residential prices had followed the same percentage changes as the monopoly states, Massachusetts consumers would have paid $5.4 billion more in the same time period," RESA said

"The Attorney General’s study also raises questions about the success of the competitive marketplace for consumers and paints an inaccurate picture of the goals and practices of energy supply marketers," RESA said

RESA said that the AGO report fails to ask two critical questions:

• "First, in an age where customers are buying based on technologies and decarbonization, what did they actually purchase? The report makes a claim characterized as 'loss' based on an assumption of price alone rather than the total product plus advanced energy services and technologies purchased"

• "And second, it should be noted that the AGO’s report fails to recognize that there were savings-only products available, but many customers are no longer seeking only those types of products; instead choosing advanced energy options. The reality is digitized, decarbonized energy is the future and retail suppliers are bringing these relevant products to the market."

The AG's report, "in no way objectively analyzes the benefits or the lower costs of receiving these competitive products from retail suppliers and assumes that a customer’s choice to have an advanced energy option must be a bad one," RESA said

RESA said that the AG's report, "Draws inappropriate and unfair comparisons between competitive retail supply products and utility basic service rates that conveniently overlook competitive rate plan offers that have varying terms of service that extend well beyond the six-month basic service term, green or renewable energy products, carbon offsets and bundled services that include smart energy devices, reward points, gift cards, etc."

RESA said that the AG's report, "Discounts and dismisses the idea of why customers choose one product over another and assumes consumers are driven by price alone."

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