Energy customers in Massachusetts may soon be able to pay less for electricity as natural gas prices continue to decline to record lows, the Boston Globe reports.
According to the news source, the state derives nearly 60 percent of its electricity from gas-fired power plants. Now, as utilities pay less to buy that power and distribute it, customers will likely soon see lower electricity rates, too. Regional utility NStar recently asked state regulators to pass a measure that would drop electricity rates by 16 percent, which would impact NStar's 1.1 million customers.
With energy deregulated in Massachusetts, retail electricity providers are giving customers the opportunity to lock in the low rates through at least December 2013. Independent electricity supplier Dominion currently offers prices slightly higher than NStar's, but they are still up to 39 percent lower than its prices three years ago.
"Right now, electricity prices are low because natural gas prices are low," said Dan Donovan, a spokesman for Dominion Energy Solutions.
Energy deregulation in Massachusetts first began in 1998, allowing customers to compare electricity rates between retail electricity suppliers. In 2005, the state did away with its Standard Offer Service Rate.