More electricity is consumed in Massachusetts than is generated there, even though per capita electricity consumption in the state is among the lowest in the nation. This makes Massachusetts a major electricity importer from nearby states like New Hampshire and Vermont. Over the past 15 years (2001-2016) Massachusetts has phased out coal and petroleum fueled electricity production. These fuels have been replaced with cleaner options like natural gas and solar energy.
Massachusetts renewable energy investments are driven by state policies, such as the Renewable Portfolio Standard. This policy requires all retail electricity suppliers in the state to use renewable sources for a certain percentage of their sales. Specifically, they must provide at least 15% renewable energy by 2020. After that, they must increase their renewable sources by 1% every year. The Standard also has specifications that require electricity suppliers to use solar and waste energy for a minimum portion of their renewable energy.
Massachusetts Electricity Prices
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average retail price of electricity for Massachusetts residents in December 2016 was 18.87¢ per kWh, a whopping 6.6¢ above the average U.S. electricity price of 12.21¢ per kWh.
Residential electricity prices are on the rise in Massachusetts, having increased more than 30% over the past 5 years. This trend has led to higher electricity bills for Massachusetts residents, motivating many to switch to renewable energy (i.e. go solar) to save money.
Massachusetts Energy Mix
Net Electricity Generation By Source:
Source: Energy Information Administration, 2016
From 2011-2016, Massachusetts increased its solar energy production from about 0% to 6% of total electricity production. Over the same period, electricity production from coal has fallen over 53%.
Massachusetts Energy Sector Employment
According to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report, there were 28,769 people employed by Massachusetts renewable energy companies in 2016. Not all of these employees are full-time, but about 81% of these employees spend the majority of their time working on clean energy. The Report from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) also found that the 6,714 clean energy establishments in Massachusetts contributed $11.8 billion to the Massachusetts economy in 2016. Some of the largest Massachusetts renewable energy employers are Schneider Electric, EnerNOC, and SolarCity.
Fun fact: more Americans are employed by renewable energy than coal, oil, and gas combined, despite wind and solar energy only making up 5% of the total U.S. energy mix. According to a study from the University of California, Berkeley, solar energy creates over 7 times more jobs than coal or oil per MWh produced. The employment estimates for wind power differ from source to source, but most agree that it also produces more jobs than fossil fuels.
Massachusetts Utility Companies
Some of the largest utility companies in Massachusetts are National Grid, Eversource, and Unitil. Previously in Massachusetts, one utility company controlled the entire flow of electricity, from production to distribution. However, the Massachusetts energy market has since been “deregulated,” meaning that some elements of the service, such as electricity prices, can be set by other companies. This gives Massachusetts businesses and homeowners the power to choose their electricity supplier.
- Serves approximately 1.3 million residential electric customers in Massachusetts
- US headquarters in Waltham, MA (Corporate HQ in London)
- Owns Massachusetts Electric Company and Nantucket Electric Company
- Serves approximately 1.4 million residential electric customers in Massachusetts
- Headquartered in Boston, MA and Hartford, CT
- Merged with NSTAR in 2012
- Serves approximately 145,000 residential electric customers in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts
- Headquartered in Hampton, NH
- Owns Unitil Energy Systems, Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company, and Northern Utilities, Inc.
Arcadia's Massachusetts Renewable Energy Services
With Arcadia’s clean energy offerings, homeowners and renters across the state can now sign up to reduce their impact, be more energy efficient, and save on their energy bills while keeping their same utility company. Here are three programs currently available to Massachusetts residents:
As a Massachusetts utility customer, you can reduce your impact by matching your home’s electricity usage with renewable energy certificates from wind farms. You can sign up for our 50% Wind Energy plan for free, and begin service with your next utility bill. All you need is your local utility login to link up with Arcadia’s platform and start supporting wind farms each month at no extra cost to you.
We offer a community solar-savings program to homeowners and renters in Massachusetts. No matter where you live, you can subscribe to community solar projects across the country and start saving on your utility bill each month. There aren’t any installations, site visits, or equipment necessary, and if you move, your savings will even move with you.
Zero-down Energy Efficient Products
Our pay-as-you-save energy program enables Massachusetts utility customers to access energy efficient products for $0 down. We will offer LED light bulbs, Wiser Air Smart Thermostats, and other home energy products to help you be more efficient and save on your utility bills. As an Arcadia customer, you can simply pay for your efficient products over time using the energy savings you’ll start seeing each month.