As a publicly owned utility, Ipswich ELD customers have more control over rate, delivery, and the overall power portfolio. Maintaining a diversified power profile has allowed us to avoid the dramatic cost increase that some communities are experiencing, but it does not completely insulate us from rising costs across the energy market.
We are committed to helping customers manage energy costs with energy savings opportunities, flexible billing options, and referrals to resources for energy bill relief. If you or a neighbor need help paying your bill, please visit our Financial Assistance page to learn more programs and organizations that may be able to provide assistance. If you wish to learn more about energy savings opportunities, please visit our ReSource Ipswich page.
Our staff is also available to assist with questions and flexible billing options at 978-356-6635.
Electric rates are constantly fluctuating due to wholesale costs for the power we receive, and current market conditions.
We anticipate those fluctuations and are able to stabilize the costs by utilizing a balanced power portfolio.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will there be another increase, like what we saw in 2022?
We have structured existing rate increases in such a way that we hope to avoid additional increases in the foreseeable future. The ELD is exercising additional financial tools, including strategic draw-down of Rate Stabilization funds, to help mitigate additional increases. Of course, if market conditions are more severe than projected, additional rate increases may be required to deliver power to customers.
What is a balanced power portfolio?
The term “balanced power portfolio” refers to the resources that are used to produce the power that we consume, as well as the method of procuring those sources. Similar to a financial portfolio, where there might be a combination of savings, stocks, and perhaps a retirement account, the power portfolio can include different types of contracts and sources of generation.
In Ipswich, we strive to source our customers’ power from a diverse array of generators, including wind, hydro, solar, and nuclear resources. Additionally, we deliberately seek to hedge against market volatility by locking in prices with long-range contracts, rather than allow rates to rise and fall exclusively based on the open wholesale market.
What is in our power portfolio?
Approximately 65% of the Ipswich power portfolio is made up of contracts that have already locked in pricing, while 35% remains open to market volatility. Of the 65% that we have already procured, roughly half is sourced from hydroelectric facilities, one-quarter from nuclear, and the remainder from wind and solar.
Where can residents go for help?
We work closely with community assistance organizations, like Action Inc. and Catholic Charities to connect them with customers who need help. Please visit our Financial Assistance page for more information about these resources. Customers can also call (978) 356-6635 and speak to one of our Customer Service Representatives about various resources for financial assistance with their utility bills.
What goes in to determining rates?
Ipswich ELD rates have several components.
- For most customers, there is a basic fixed charge each month. This minimum service charge is intended to cover the cost of producing the bill, regardless of how much electricity is consumed; for residential customers the fixed charge is $4/month.
- The base rate is intended to fund operations of the department, which are necessary to deliver reliable electrical service; residential customers pay 5.85 cents for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumed.
- The energy rate is the commodity cost of power (i.e. generation) and the cost of bringing that energy from throughout the region to Ipswich (i.e., transmission). These costs are incurred by the Ipswich ELD to procure energy on behalf of our customers; subsequently, these costs are passed on to our customers. The residential energy rate is anticipated to be 14 cents/kWh this winter.
How do these rates compare to National Grid?
As of September, 2023- National Grid lists their Basic Service Rate at $0.14115/kWh, and their Delivery Rate at $0.15577/kWh totaling around $0.30/kWh for residential customers.
IELD's current PPFA rate is $0.10/kWh and the energy charge is $.0585/kWh totaling around $0.16/kWh for residential customers.