When To Shop the Cheapest MA Electricity?
It’s hard finding the cheapest MA electricity rates especially with prices on the rise. But it doesn’t take much to learn when the best window to shop for electricity. All it takes is knowing more about shoulder month pricing. Let’s talk about what shoulder months are and why they matter.
What Affects MA Electricity Rates?
It’s no surprise that New England’s need for natural gas drives MA’s high electricity rates. Natural gas now generates over half of New England’s electricity. That’s nearly 40% more than it did 20 years ago. As a result, natural gas prices directly affect the region’s electricity rates. The problem now is that global natural gas markets are scared of what’s going on in the world.
Events Affecting MA Electricity
New England doesn’t create its own natural gas so it must import all that it uses. That adds more cost to the price of electricity. According to the New England grid operator, there isn’t enough pipeline capacity to meet the region’s demand during harsh winters. That usually causes seasonal price spikes.
US natural gas production fell in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And since January, 2021, stored natural gas supplies have stayed at below average levels. As hot temperatures drove energy demands higher this summer, prices rose as well. Now, US natural gas production has increased to 2020 levels. However, supplies have not yet fully recovered to drive down prices.
When Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year, many nations barred Russian oil and natural gas. This created a global shortage. As a result this sudden shortage, global natural gas prices rose dramatically, especially in Europe. And though the effect wasn’t as bad in the US, prices rose here as well. The EIA natural gas weekly suggests natural gas heating for homes may cost 28% more this winter than last year. Of course, this makes shopping for better electricity rates even harder. Fortunately, the shoulder months may provide some help.
Why Shop Shoulder Month Electricity?
As the EIA summarizes, supply and demand has a strong effect on natural gas pricing. Generator companies burn lot of natural gas to meet high cooling demands. Natural gas prices rise and electric rates follow. The same goes for winter rates because of heating demands. On the other hand, energy demand levels off when temperatures are mild (March-May and September-early November). The energy industry calls these periods “shoulder months”. And with lower demand comes lower prices. This means that the shoulder months tend to offer cheaper electricity supplier rates.
Plus, signing on to a 12-month fixed-rate plan now could take you to next year’s fall should month. This strategy can set you up to always get the market’s lowest rates.
Shop the Cheapest MA Shoulder Month Electricity
Shopping for cheap electricity isn’t always easy. Especially with how much New England relies on natural gas. But you could save the most money if you shop shoulder month pricing and then stick with it.
You can learn more about other ways of saving money and energy by comparing rates and plans at https://www.maenergyratings.com.