Thursday, August 27, 2009

Aggregation of Electricity -- Dominion Retail, Inc.

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NStar Versus Dominion Retail - Should I Switch Electric Providers?
I received an offer in the mail, today, to switch my electric provider to Dominion Retail, an outfit that claims it will charge me less for power than NStar does now (9.15 per kWh versus, they say, 11.442 per kWh), while doing it over the same lines. As a bonus, NStar will be responsible for billing, as well as service and power delivery. It reminds me of the telco deregulation, when all of a sudden New England Telephone (remember them?) was responsible for sending the bill, but AT&T was my long-distance provider.
So I have a few questions. Should I switch electric providers? What's the catch? Is this just utility industry competition?
Taking Dominion Retail at their word, there's no reason not to switch. Wouldn't everyone?
Thoughts welcome in comments.
October 03, 2006 in Commentary

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Sounds good to me. I wish I had reasoning to offer, but I don't. But I would suggest calling N-Star and asking them why not. They either come up with a good reason, or you switch.
Posted by: jwardell October 04, 2006 at 02:55 PM, NStar, and Dominion Retail all offer dirty “system power” products: Most of the electricity they buy is generated by fossil power plants, which release emissions that degrade air and water quality and could forever alter the climate and character of this region. One of Dominion Retail’s sister companies owns the Brayton Point Station, which is located upwind of the Cape and Vineyard and is the dirtiest plant in New England. Consumers that switch to Dominion will save money by patronizing a corporation that profits while polluting local environments.
Posted by: ewachter October 06, 2006 at 10:27 AM
As far as I can see, this super-duper offer is good for only two months, that's it.
And for the dubious benefits of letting one company rather than another take my heating nickel, I have to say that this business of offering deals ... like the cable and cellphone people do ... with great deals for thirty days or two months and then, watch out! .. anyone who USES that trick is, to me, suspect. It's like getting paid twenty bucks to switch, yay! Then what?
Posted by: L McKinney October 09, 2006 at 02:59 PM
I switched with this offer, I'll have to see how long the difference stays in my favor. I can always switch back. Be aware though that this is only on a portion of the bill. The majority still goes to NStar. In my case it works out to a 10% difference in my bill.
Posted by: Bob October 10, 2006 at 10:45 AM
The jerks have the nerve to bury that 2-month offer in the fine print on the back. Thanks for being here with this discussion.
Posted by: ST October 11, 2006 at 01:01 AM
NSTAR is just delivery service for the electricity, the current supplier is ConEdison, rates are subject to change every 6 mos., my question is does anyone know how Dominion's rates fluctate every 6 mos.
Posted by: R. Govoni October 11, 2006 at 03:24 PM
After a close read of the offer, I threw it in the trash.Something that seems too good to be true, usually is. There was no guarantee that rates would be better after the end of the year, and there is some reason to suspect that Dominion Retail is an irresponsible energy producer.
I could be wrong in my assessment about any of that, but that was my opinion.
Posted by: carpundit October 12, 2006 at 07:25 AM
Wow, I just found that two-month limit.
VERY sneaky with how they word the terms - not the standard language I'm used to.
The dirty plant thing I can selfishly put aside, but their misleading promo is just insulting. Not a good way to introduce yourself.
You guys are awesome for chatting about this online. Thanks! :)
Posted by: Alex October 16, 2006 at 11:04 AM
For your reference, here's an article in the Boston Globe on this matter:
Posted by: S. Lin October 17, 2006 at 12:29 PM
From the article, ``We're pretty confident we'll be able to beat the utility price next year," he said. No promises, but it seems to be their only way to get customers to move, so I'd wager a small sum on it (like my electric bill).
Posted by: Jonathan October 24, 2006 at 09:24 PM
Read the article
You might end up paying more than you think. These companies care about only their benefits.
Posted by: November 08, 2006 at 01:03 PM
I don't know, looks good to me. My offer says the price is good til Dec 2007, though there is a $50 early termination fee. If I save 10% on my electric bill, though, I'm saving $30/monthly so what am I missing? Why shouldn't I do this?
Posted by: Mark February 05, 2007 at 07:47 PM
If lightning strikes the transformer on the corner, does shifting providers affect the restoration of service?
Posted by: Dave September 20, 2007 at 10:47 AM
The Pleasing text and design! we%20beg%20pardon%20offeday November 05, 2007 at 09:23 AM
I too was snaffued by the "hidden" 2 month limit on the good rates. Do we, as a group have the right to complain to the equivalent of the PUC? Before signing up wioth Dominion, I called them up and asked how they could have so much lower prices than NSTAR. I was told about their efficiency and low cost fuel; nothing about the offer being good for only 2 months. Rip off's like this need to be prohibited.
Posted by: December 24, 2007 at 01:06 PM
I rec'd price offer from Dominion that says it is good through your scheduled December 2011 meter read date. Has anyone switched to this electricity provider? If so, any problems?
Posted by: MA November 06, 2008 at 02:26 PM
Looks like National Grid is going to be dropping their rates by 13% as of January 1st, 2009. This is a dirty trick on the part of Dominion if you ask me. They're comparing the current rates, knowing that National Grid is lowering their rates after you lock into their "slightly lower as of this very second" rate. Then Dominion locks you into a rate which is going to be higher than that of National Grid.
If you read the offer, you need to accept by December 31, 2009. This seems like a total scam to me. Sure, you make out for the next 2 weeks, but you get screwed for the next 2 years. There's also a $50 termination fee with Dominion.
I rather doubt that there are problems with the actual switch. All that's really happening is that on the back end, National Grid is required to purchase the power for your home from Dominion. The energy industry is screwy like that. This is going in the trash though.
Posted by: Mike December 10, 2008 at 11:02 AM
I keep getting called by a Dominion guy. I don't like the cheesy approach. He keeps asking for my power company account number so that he can "lower my rate", as if it's just a simple rate lowering. I asked, "if you're going to lower my rate then go ahead and do it". Then I pressed him, asking if by agreeing I was going to be switching companies and contracting with his company next, and it was like pulling teeth to get the truth. The whole thing smells.
Posted by: John February 23, 2009 at 09:16 AM
Thanks all. I also go the offer in the mail and was considering switching but was ambivalent. Based on the discussion here, if it looks too good to be truse, it probably is.
Posted by: John March 01, 2009 at 05:30 PM
what does 10% of my bill really amount to? I know "money is money" but i agree - it doesn't sound right.
Posted by: sam bowie March 02, 2009 at 05:16 PM
After reading all the above comments I don't think I will switch. Apparently they offer this every year with a "deadline" for signing up!I, too, am of the opinion that anything that sounds too good to be true probably is! The more I read their fine print, the less sure I become about exactly what I am being offered. The fact that they have dirty plants producing the energy is enough for me, anyway. Although I am not wealthy, I feel I have to go with the "greenest" I can at this point in time. Go, Cape Wind!!!Barbara
Posted by: Barbara Peckham March 05, 2009 at 03:19 PM
My June 11, 2009 FIRST bill from NSTAR included an Electric Supplier Bill Detail. Dominion Retail address phone etc. The Current month (new with Dominion.'s Delivery Charge was MORE than last month When with NSTAR:8.9 cents (perkWh) as opposed to NSTAR 8.7cents (per kWh).
I left a call to ask if the bill is hap and circumstance. I'd drop them in a shot for this surprise unless NSTAR cut prices last month to play a trump card.
Posted by: Jack June 17, 2009 at 07:03 PM
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