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MA Retail Shopping Website Proposal

February 3, 2015 By Josh Kessler

We recently reported that the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities had directed retail suppliers to circulate a straw proposal for a planned retail energy shopping website.

Providers have since responded.

In general, they agreed with attributes of the proposal. Energy Choice Matters reported a few notable comments from suppliers. Suppliers suggested that:

  • Fixed-price products should be displayed first.
  • The website should avoid displaying provider names in alphabetical order.
  • Offers should not be limited to three-month increments, because wholesale supply contract periods might not align with these three-month increments.
  • The pricing mechanisms behind variable rates should not have to be explained to consumers as these could rely on proprietary hedging and procurement strategies.

We will continue to monitor developments related to the Massachusetts shopping website.

Most states with retail power have some form of energy shopping website, though different sites provide different information. At a minimum, the sites give consumers information on which suppliers can provide them power. More detailed sites, such as the Texas energy shopping website, provide details on items including pricing levels, contract duration and fees.

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