25 Mar

National Grid’s Solar Potential Combats Rising Electricity Costs

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approved a utility rate increase of up to 40% in November 2014. Massachusetts historically has experienced high electricity prices compared with the national average. This recent price increase labeled Massachusetts as one of the top five states with the most expensive electricity prices in the continental United States. In the past few months since the price spike, companies have begun noticing increases in their electric bill.

As the increased electricity prices begin to eat away at companies’ bottom lines, company managers may begin to wonder what they can do to protect their company against future price volatility. The answer is to go solar. Massachusetts is in a deregulated market meaning that companies can choose where to purchase electricity. Installing solar energy cannot only provide renewable energy at a savings to what the utility is charging, but also at a stabilized rate since the price of solar does not fluctuate based on supply and demand of fossil fuels.

Unfortunately, only 9.3% of Massachusetts’ energy is derived from renewable sources. Massachusetts’ electricity mainly comes from natural gas (63%) and coal (12%); both of which are volatile in the winter months, unlike solar.  utility companies in Massachusetts like National Grid and NSTAR increase prices, which reflect in their customers’ electric bills.

In utility territories like National Grid, solar can help offset rising electricity costs.  Additionally, solar can help utilities with the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The RPS states that all utility and power producing companies must have 10% of their electricity generated from renewable sources like solar.

For National Grid, solar can provide a hedge against the fluctuating prices of natural gas and coal.  Installing utility-scale solar would help the utility stabilize prices, which would then reflect in the energy bills of the customers. A more stable energy bill would lead to more satisfied customers. Essentially, it’s a win-win, don’t you think?

Eliza Porter

Eliza Porter

Eliza is the Chief Learning Officer for Clean Footprint. As the Chief Learning Officer, she is responsible for writing and editing blogs, e-books, videos and white papers as well as other learning content created for Clean Footprint’s developer partners and clients. Eliza attended New York University in Paris, France and studied Global Liberal Studies before moving to Florida and joining the Clean Footprint team. She also studied Business and Entrepreneurship at the University of Central Florida.