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Your current Eversource MA electric rates, and how your electric bill works?

Electric bills can be complicated and mysterious. While the cost of apples (for example) is the number of apples times the price per apple, utilities slice and dice their energy "apples" (or units) in a variety of ways. And many utilities do not make it clear how much their whole apples cost you (they instead tell you the price for every little slice).

This article's purpose is to demystify your electric bill putting you in a better position to take control and cut it. It is specific to the Massachusetts utility Eversource MA.

To see your current electric rates, click here to scroll down.

How does my rate plan work?

Your electric bill has two parts:

  1. A fixed monthly charge.
  2. An energy charge, a charge per unit of energy used.

The fixed monthly charge covers Eversource MA expenses that are not directly related to your energy use. Examples are Eversource MA's phone-support staff, and the hold music you hear while waiting for phone support. As the name suggests, the fixed charge does not change month by month. It is a lower charge ($7/month) than the energy charge.

What is the energy unit that Eversource MA uses? Like other U.S. utilities, they charge per "kilowatt-hour", abbreviated as "kWh". Understanding kilowatt-hours will help you cut your electric bill.

 

Let's break it down with the classic light bulb example:

100 light bulbs x 10 watts per light bulb = 1,000 watts.
A "kilo" is a thousand, so 1,000 watts = 1 kilowatt.
If the light bulbs are left on for 1 hour, that's 1 kilowatt x 1 hour = 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh).

1 kilowatt x 1 hour = 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh)

Let's make sure you got that.

 

How many kilowatt-hours are used if you leave 300 10-watt light bulbs on for an hour? ...You're right!

3 kilowatt-hours (300 bulbs x 10 watts = 3,000 watts / 1,000 = 3 kilowatts.
Left on over 1 hour = 3 kilowatt-hours).

300 light bulbs 3 kilowatst x 1 hour = 3 kilowatt-hour (kWh)

Now let's talk money.

 

How much does Eversource MA charge to keep these 100 light bulbs on for an hour?

Under the standard rate plan (R-1), they charge 24¢ per kWh on average (for a home with typical usage).
1 kWh x 24¢ per kWh = 24¢.
If the 100 light bulbs were kept on 24x7 for a month (720 hours straight), Eversource MA would charge $172.80.

100 lightbulbs x 24/7 x 24 cents = $172.80

How much does a typical Eversource customer pay per month?

A typical family in Eversource territory uses 939 kWh per month on average (they'd get to the same total by keeping 129 10-watt light bulbs on 24x7). They pay $230 per month for those 939 kWh.

How do Eversource rates compare to the national average?

Eversource rates are a lot higher than the national average. The average Eversource rate for a family with typical energy use is 24¢ per kWh (including the fixed charge). The average national residential rate is 13¢ (source: U.S. EIA).

Could we cut our bill just by switching to another rate plan?

Eversource offers a Time-of-Use rate plan that you could voluntarily switch to. It might start saving you money immediately. With Time-of-Use, you'd pay a different rate depending on when you use energy over the course of a day. Time-of-Use gives you more control over your electric bill.

The next article in this series will go into the Time-of-Use option in more detail, and show how you can leverage it to cut your bill.

What are my current Eversource electric rates?

If you are on Eversource's standard residential rate plan (named R-1), here are the rates you currently pay:

Standard Plan's Rates:

Plan Name: Residential (R-1 (A1))
Last Update: February 1, 2018
Fixed Charge: Service Charge: $7
All Year Rate: $0.237

We are already on Time-of-Use, What are our current rates?

If you are already on Eversource's optional Time-of-Use rate plan (named R-4), here are the rates you currently pay:

Time-of-Use Plan's Rates:

Plan Name: Residential - Time of Use (R-4 (A3))
Last Update: January 1, 2018
Fixed Charge: Service Charge: $9.99
Summer (June 1 to September 30)
Rate per kWh
Off-Peak: $0.182
Peak: $0.377
Weekday Times
Off-Peak: Midnight to 9am, 6pm to midnight
Peak: 9am to 6pm
Weekend Times
Off-Peak: All hours
Peak:
Winter (October 1 to May 31)
Rate per kWh
Off-Peak: $0.181
Peak: $0.297
Weekday Times
Off-Peak: Midnight to 8am, 9pm to midnight
Peak: 8am to 9pm
Weekend Times
Off-Peak: All hours
Peak:

What are the best ways to cut our energy bill?

We are glad you asked. Let's continue to the article: The Three Best Ways to Cut Your Eversource Electric Bill.