Competitive Energy Suppliers - Q&A and Updates


Legislation enacted in Rhode Island in July 2019 includes changes in registration requirements for nonregulated power producers and additional consumer friendly provisions.  

Key provisions for competitive supply customers:

  • Amends RIGL§ 39-26.7-5 to allow electronic termination of a consumer’s existing service agreement.
  • Eliminates automatic renewals of a contract with a residential customer and requires a new contract with a residential customer if the terms for electric services change from variable to fixed rates, fixed to variable rates, or to a different fixed rate.

Key provision for nonregulated power producers:

  • Amends RIGL§ 39-1-27.1 to limit registration with the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers to only nonregulated power producers who engage in the retail sale of electricity.

 The legislation (H5678 S399)

This legislation was amended in 2021 to provide an additional notification provision, and clarify the requirements do not apply to municipal aggregation contracts (H6431S25)

Can I obtain electricity from a competitive supplier?

Yes, in fact this has been common for larger commercial and industrial accounts, though a number of companies have solicited residential and small commercial customers. Non-regulated Power Producers must be registered with the Division to offer service in Rhode Island. Here are link to a list of Competitive Suppliers serving residential customers and commercial and industrial customers. Each is a link to pages maintained by National Grid transitioning to RI Energy. While these companies may have customers in the various rate classes, not all may be currently offering service to new customers.

Can I request a block placed on my account, to prevent a switch to a competitive supplier?

Yes, If you would like your account blocked from switching to a competitive supplier you can do so by contacting Rhode Island Energy

If I choose a competitive supplier, will I end my business relationship with my current distribution company?

No, the competitive supplier is responsible for the energy cost portion of your bill. The electric distribution company will continue to deliver power to your home or business, and respond to service calls, emergencies and storm restoration.

What should I consider in selecting a competitive supplier?

As with any contract, you should do your homework and fully research the terms of the proposed agreement. Some factors to consider are, whether the prices quoted are fixed or variable, whether there are minimum bill amounts and whether there are any early termination fees. You may also look into the the company's customer service mechanism.

What Information should I have to make the best choices?

You should know the current Last Resort Service price offered by your electric distribution company, and when that price may be adjusted. If you are a competitive supply variable rate customer, it would be helpful to understand how and when you will know of price changes. Also, knowing your billing cycle dates may offer some guidance in determining whether to accept a competitive supply offer, to transition back to Last Resort Service, or to accept another competitive supply proposal.

How do I compare prices?

Make certain that the price quoted by a competitive supplier includes all the factors associated with energy cost. The utility's Last Resort Service rates can be found on our website. Under the current Last Resort Service procurement arrangement, residential and rates are scheduled for adjustment (up or down, based on market factors) in 6-month intervals on April 1 and October 1 annually. Industrial rates are adjusted on a quarterly basis.

If you still have additional questions call the Consumer Section of the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers --- (401) 780-9700