Electricity and gas prices are rising — here are options to save
The City of Boston has resources for residents and small businesses to save money on their bills in the upcoming months.
Electricity and gas prices are expected to rise this winter. A rate filing from National Grid shows wintertime power bills rising more than 60 percent from a year ago. The City of Boston knows that energy affordability is critical to our residents and small businesses.
Eversource rates will be significantly higher come January. Outlined are some resources that can help you prepare in advance.
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- Published by: Environment
Boston Community Choice Electricity (BCCE)
The first step you can take is to ensure that where your electricity comes from is affordable. Boston Community Choice Electricity (BCCE) is a City-run program that gives residents three options for electricity pricing and renewable energy. When you join BCCE, Eversource will still deliver your electricity, read your meter, handle all of the customer services, and you will continue making payments to them. Nothing will change on your bill except for the "supply" section.
Eversource recently increased its Basic Service rates to 25.649 cents/kWh for residential customers, a nearly 63 percent increase from their winter 2022 rate. For competitive supply we are currently seeing rates as high as 46.40 cents/kWh. Rates for small businesses will be increasing to 26.049 cents /kWh.
Through BCCE, the most expensive option of 100% renewable electricity is only 13.987 cents/kWh. These rates are locked in thru December 2023.
More questions? Set up a time with an expert to help you join the program.
Mass Save Energy Assessment
Now that you know your electricity supply is coming from BCCE, sign up for a no-cost Mass Save energy assessment for your home or small business. Mass Save has no-cost and deeply discounted options to reduce your energy use, improve comfort, and make sure that you are getting the most out of the energy you are paying for.
Benefits of Mass Save include:
- Home energy assessments (1 to 4 units)
- No-cost air sealing and 75-100% off approved insulation
- High-efficiency heating and cooling upgrades
- Pre-weatherization barrier incentives
- 0% HEAT Loan
- Multi-family energy assessments (5+ units)
- Income-eligible programs
- Small business assessments
Between November 15 and March 15, you are protected from utility shut-off.
Residential customers are protected from utility shut off if:
- the utility service is needed to heat your home, and
- you receive service from an investor-owned utility, such as Eversource, National Grid, Unitil, Liberty Utilities, or Berkshire Gas.
You can contact Eversource at 800-592-2000 or email at CustomerServiceMA@eversource.com. You can contact National Grid at 1-718-403-2171.
At all other times, if you are experiencing financial hardship and one of the following applies, your electric or gas cannot be shut off without permission from the Department of Public Utilities:
- You, or someone in your home, is seriously ill
- You have an infant under 12 months in your home
- Everyone in the home is over the age of 65
- All adults in the home are age 65 or older and a minor child resides in the home
Seniors Save Program
The Seniors Save program helps seniors replace failing heating systems to ensure they are ready for winter. You can apply if you're over the age of 60 and need help replacing your heating system. The City offers financial and contractor help.
Utility Payment AssistanceUtility Help
If you’re an Eversource or National Grid customer living in Boston, and you receive our Fuel Assistance services, you’re also eligible for the utility bill advocacy program (often called “arrearage management). You can apply for ABCD Fuel Assistance online.
ABCD utility bill advocacy can be reached at 617-357-6012.
Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MACP) has a Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Here are the FY23 Eligibility Requirements for Heating Assistance.
The New Start program can help eliminate your outstanding balance if you are:
- behind in payments by two months or more, or
- have a balance of +$300.
If you make on-time monthly payments, Eversource will forgive the past due amount in as little as 12 months.
To be eligible for Eversource's Discount Rate, you need to be a residential customer who receives one of the benefits listed, with a household income that meets eligibility requirement. Here is National Grid Discount Rate application, as well.
The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund is available to any Massachusetts resident who, because of temporary financial difficulty:
- cannot meet a month's energy expense, and
- is not eligible for state or federal energy assistance.
Income must fall between 60 and 80 percent of the state's median income levels.
You may apply for assistance by directly contacting your local Salvation Army Corps Community Center or Service Extension Unit:
Boston Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center
650 Dudley Street, Dorchester, MA 02125
ph. 617-318-6900 • fax: 617-318-6999
Boston South End Corps
1500 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02118-2015
ph. 617-536-5260 • fax: 617-236-0799
The Office of Housing Stability dedicates federal funds to help Boston residents who have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are having difficulty paying their rent.
The Rental Relief Fund can help cover:
- Past due (from March 13, 2020), current, and up to three months of expected rent costs
- Past due (from March 13, 2020) or current utility (including internet) and home energy expenses ($2,000 utility allowance)