Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Chelmsford Choice program?

The program is a municipal electricity aggregation, which is a form of group purchasing in which a city or town arranges electricity supply on behalf of its citizens. Aggregation is allowed by Massachusetts law and is growing in popularity.

The term aggregation is used because all of Chelmsford’s electrical load is combined, or aggregated, and given to the same electricity supplier. This allows Chelmsford to get the best price possible from that electricity supplier.

Chelmsford has chosen Constellation Energy Power Choice, Inc., as the new electricity supplier for the community. The Town used a competitive bidding process to select Constellation and make sure that you get the best price possible for your electricity supply.

 

What is electricity supply?

Electricity service has two parts: supply and delivery. Supply refers to the electricity itself. Delivery is the process of bringing that electricity to you over the wires.

With National Grid Basic Service, National Grid chooses your electricity supplier and delivers the electricity to you. With this program, National Grid will continue to deliver your electricity, but Chelmsford has chosen Constellation as your supplier.

How do I benefit from the program?

You benefit in three ways:

Savings: Chelmsford has negotiated an electricity supply price that was below National Grid Basic Service rates at the time of program launch in February 2016. But because National Grid’s prices change twice a year or more depending on rate class, there will be months when the program price is higher than the National Grid price. The program goal is to beat the National Grid price on average over the length of the electricity supply contract.

Choice: The program gives you two alternatives to National Grid’s electricity supply.

  • Chelmsford Choice: All program participants will be automatically enrolled in this standard offering. Like National Grid Basic Service, Chelmsford Choice meets the minimum Massachusetts requirements for renewable energy.
  • Chelmsford Choice Plus: This option allows you to make your electricity 100% green. Additionally, it includes 20% energy from new New England wind projects, which puts it 20 years ahead of state renewable energy requirements.

Predictability: Chelmsford has negotiated a 24-month contract with Constellation on your behalf. Your electricity supply price will not change in that time. Additionally, all program terms are public, and there are no hidden costs.

What will my electricity supply price be as part of the Chelmsford Choice program?

The supply price for Chelmsford Choice, the standard option, is 9.30 ¢/kWh for all customers: residential, small businesses, and medium and large businesses.

If you choose to enroll in Chelmsford Choice Plus for 100% green energy, your price will be 10.40 ¢/kWh. This price is for all customers who choose this option: residential, small businesses, and medium and large businesses.

Who is eligible to participate in the Chelmsford Choice program?

All electricity customers within the geographic boundaries of Chelmsford are eligible to join the program. Customers who receive their electricity supply from National Grid and not from another electricity supplier will be automatically enrolled.

How do I participate in the program?

If you are a National Grid Basic Service customer, you need to do nothing.

  • All National Grid Basic Service were automatically enrolled at program launch on February 1, 2016.
  • If you are a new resident in Chelmsford or have opened a new electricity account, you will receive a notification about the program by mail. If you wish to participate, you need to do nothing. You will be automatically enrolled if you do not opt out.

If you have signed an electricity supply contract with another vendor, you will not be automatically enrolled. However, you are welcome to join the program. To join, contact Constellation at 1-844-830-3344 and ask to join. We recommend that you carefully check the terms and conditions of your supplier agreement. Your ability to terminate your agreement with your supplier may be restricted.

What if i am with another electricity supplier, but I want to participate in the Chelmsford Choice program?

If you have signed an electricity supply contract with another vendor, you will not be automatically enrolled. However, you are welcome to join the program.

To join, contact Constellation at 1-844-830-3344 and ask to join.

We recommend that you carefully check the terms and conditions of your supplier agreement. Your ability to terminate your agreement with your supplier may be restricted.

How do I choose Chelmsford Choice Plus?

To choose Chelmsford Choice Plus and 100% green energy, contact Constellation directly at 1-844-830-3344.

What if I don't want to participate in the Chelmsford Choice program?

You may choose not to participate. This is called opting out. You may opt out at any time. There is no penalty for opting out. If you choose to opt out, you will receive National Grid Basic Service.

You have three ways to opt out of the program:

1. Sign and return the postcard that you receive with the program notification letter. You must return the letter within 30 days of the postmark on the envelope in order to be opted out of the program before being enrolled.

1. Call constellation at 1-844-830-3344 and tell them you want to opt out of the Chelmsford Choice program. You may do this at any time after receiving the program notification letter and/or at any time after participating in the program.

2. Opt out online. You may do this at any time after receiving the program notification letter and/or at any time after participating in the program.

How will the Chelmsford Choice program affect my electricity bill?

Participating in Chelmsford Choice changes only your electricity supplier and the rate you are charged for the electricity supply portion of your bill. Beginning with your first bill after program enrollment, you will see Constellation printed as a line item for supply services, and the electricity supply rate will reflect the program rate. Otherwise:

  • Your bill will continue to come from National Grid.
  • You will continue to send bill payments to National Grid.
  • You will continue to call National Grid if your power goes out.

If you are on a budget plan or are eligible for a low-income delivery rate or fuel assistance, you continue to receive those benefits as a participant in Chelmsford Choice.

Who do I call if my power goes out?

Call National Grid if your power goes out, as always.

National Grid will continue to read meters, maintain distribution and transmission lines, and provide customer service.

National Grid’s customer service number is 1-800-465-1212.

I am currently under National Grid budget billing / eligible for the low-income delivery rate. Will this change?

You will continue to receive those benefits as a participant in Chelmsford Choice.

How long does the Chelmsford Choice program last?

The initial electricity supply contract is a 24-month contract that began with the February 2016 meter reads. After that contract ends, Chelmsford will evaluate the program. If it is successful and the Town decides to continue, they will solicit competitive bids for a new electricity supply contract. If the Town decides not to continue the program, all customers will be automatically switched back to National Grid Basic Service.

If I join the program, am I still eligible to receive net metering credits from my solar panels?

Yes. Net metering will work in the same way as before you joined the program. Your net metering credits will continue to appear on your National Grid bill and will continue to be calculated based on National Grid’s Basic Service price.