Boston energy official warns of predatory electricity suppliers targeting seniors, immigrants
Rev. Mariama White-Hammond said these suppliers offer rates that can increase monthly bills by as much as $226.
Boston’s top energy official is urging residents to check who their electricity supplier is and make sure they’re not paying more than necessary for electricity during a time when energy prices are skyrocketing.
Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, Boston’s chief of environment, energy, and open space, warned city residents Wednesday of predatory energy suppliers targeting seniors and immigrants.
“These folks are going door to door and targeting our immigrant communities, our seniors, and our low income communities, offering what ends up being shameful rates costing as much as $226 more per month,” she said during a news conference.
White-Hammond didn’t mention any suppliers by name, but encouraged young people to reach out to seniors and loved ones whose first language isn’t English and research energy suppliers for them. She also recommended calling the city’s 311 information line for help.
The energy official made clear the city will never go door to door offering electricity supply services, so residents can be sure that anyone who comes knocking to talk about electricity rates is a third-party supplier.
White-Hammond also recommended Boston residents enroll in the Boston Community Choice Electricity (BCCE) program, which offers cheaper rates than Eversource.
Eversource is estimating a 40% increase in service rates this winter, White-Hammond said.
“The city’s program is greener, and importantly, more affordable than basic service rates, and significantly more affordable than third-party suppliers,” she said.
The program offers three options: basic, standard, and green, the rates for which are 10, 11, and 14 cents per kWh, respectively. All of these are less expensive than Eversource’s current basic rate of 18 cents per kWh.
“You can have 100% green energy for less than what you would be paying on the standard Eversource rate,” White-Hammond said.
The city’s rates will stay the same all throughout 2023, the energy official said, so they can lock in a lower price for an entire year. She also recommended getting enrolled in the program sooner rather than later, as it can take up to two billing cycles to take effect.
“We know that in this time, people are often making the choice between food and fuel, between paying their electric bill and paying their rent. So we are honored to be able to offer this as an important resource to all of our residents,” she said.
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