Comparing Energy Rates

Utility rates are like tax rates. They’re set by government agencies. Your CPA understands tax rules, and helps you minimize your tax bill. To help you understand utility rules, and minimize your electric bill, consider this:

Buying power from electricity suppliers that compete with your utility may save you money, or it may not. Always compare any rate you’re offered with a full year of prices from your utility. Comparisons to the utility’s “current price” are suspect, because energy prices vary widely with the season. Only make a choice based on the 12-month average.

Do you need help finding a full year of prices from your utility? Sustaine can point you to it. Or if you’d like to see comparative savings from ALL of your energy options–including renewables and efficiency–Sustaine can help with that, too. Contact us!

Are You On the Right Utility Rate?

Utility rates are set by complicated government rules. Having insights into those rules can translate into a lower electric bill. To help you manage costs, Sustaine offers this insight:

Your electric bill is a function of the particular set of rules your utility uses to charge you (called a “rate class”).  Different businesses in the same utility can have different sets of rules. You may have a choice on the set of rules applied to you. If you do, that could be an easy savings opportunity.

If you’re curious about the rules that apply to your bill, and whether they’re the most advantageous for your business, Sustaine can tell you at no cost. Email us to get your free utility rate assessment.

Community Solar for ALL of Western Mass

Last week we told you about community solar in Western Massachusetts. It’s a way to save on your energy bill by subscribing to a nearby solar farm. Small-Medium Businesses can save up to 10% each month AND get 100% clean, local energy–just by filling out some paperwork. Truly a no-brainer.

At the time, availability was limited to Eversource customers via the Granville solar project. But Sustaine now has community solar for National Grid customers in Western Mass, too, via the Brook Street project. If National Grid or Eversource is your utility in Western Mass, you can sign up with our partner Grasshopper and start to save.

You can lock in these savings for 20 years(!). If you ever want to leave the program, you can get out with 60 days notice. The only real downside is that you’ll get a second bill from the community solar provider (see visual below).

Oh, and you can sign up your home or apartment, too. You’ll save 10% there, as well.

Just don’t wait too long. Community solar is a great deal, so the solar farms are subscribed rapidly. These two are filling up quickly! [Update 11/11/21: At least one of the projects is closing enrollments on Friday, November 19, 2021. That creates a real deadline, and means that you will likely have to go back to the end of the line for the next projects, if you miss this one. Please email us if you have questions.]

Community Solar Saving 10% for Western Massachusetts Small Biz

Small-Medium Businesses need energy savings to be real, easy and obvious.

In fact, the hardest part of being at Sustaine is rising above the ‘noise.’ So many energy brokers make outrageous promises and know so little about energy. At Sustaine we’re generally NOT brokering competitive energy. We do lower energy bills, mainly by taking advantage of programs/money that states have set aside specifically to help small businesses. A lot of times, that’s also renewable energy. So it’s cheaper AND cleaner energy. For real.

For example, we’ve identified a great savings program for small businesses in Western Mass that have Eversource as their utility. (Updated 11/1/21: Now available if you’re served by National Grid, too!)

Massachusetts has a program called community solar. Small businesses in Western Mass are cutting their electric bills up to 10% by sourcing their energy from a nearby solar farm. The electricity is still delivered by the utility, so there’s really no noticeable change, just savings on the bill.

In fact, all it takes is a little paperwork. Our partners at Grasshopper have made it really easy to sign up for their Granville project. (Updated 11/1/21: Also available via Brook Street project for National Grid customers.) Small businesses can fill out the necessary forms online in about 5 minutes. Further details are on the Grasshopper site.

For further info, including the small downside of the program, check out our later post.

Getting up to 10% savings every month, plus clean energy, for some paperwork—all courtesy of the state of Massachusetts. That’s real, it’s easy and Sustaine is proud to help make it happen.

What is Energy Conservation?

At its core, energy conservation is the practice of using less energy in order to lower costs and reduce environmental impact. This can mean using less electricity, gas, or any other form of energy that you get from your utility and pay for. With finite energy resources available on our planet, actively conserving energy when possible is beneficial individually and to our larger energy systems.