How aggregation works
Municipal electricity aggregation is a form of group electricity purchasing. Electricity aggregation replaces your electricity supplier, and it changes the price that Eversource uses to calculate the Supply charges on your electric bill. In addition, aggregation can increase the amount of renewable energy in your electricity supply. But electricity aggregation does not replace Eversource as your electric utility.
Here’s how it works:
Without the Cambridge Community Electricity Program
(Unless you have a contract with an electricity supplier)
In a traditional model, Eversource provides two services to you as an electricity customer, and your electric bill includes charges for both of these services:
|Eversource’s primary role is to deliver your electricity. Their responsibilities also include maintaining the delivery infrastructure (the poles and wires) and addressing power outages. They charge you for these services in the Delivery portion of your electric bill.|
|Eversource can also provide a second service, which is to supply your electricity. This means they purchase electricity on your behalf and charge you for the amount you use in the Supply portion of your electric bill. When Eversource supplies your electricity, their Basic Service price is used to calculate the Supply portion of your bill. Basic Service prices change seasonally. When you first open your electricity account, you are placed on Eversource’s Basic Service.|
The diagram below shows Eversource both delivering and supplying electricity.
With the Cambridge Community Electricity Program
In an electricity aggregation like the Cambridge Community Electricity Program, you remain an Eversource customer. They continue to deliver your electricity, and you continue to call them when the power goes out. They also continue to send your electric bill, and you continue to send bill payments to them.
However, Eversource no longer supplies (buys) your electricity. As a result, you no longer have Eversource’s Basic Service price for the Supply portion of your electric bill.
Instead, the City of Cambridge uses the group buying power of the community to sign a contract with an electricity supplier and establish an electricity Supply price for the community. Eversource then uses a Cambridge price instead of their own Basic Service price to calculate the Supply portion of your bill. Cambridge prices are typically fixed, long-term prices that do not change seasonally.
Through the program, the City can also choose to buy more electricity from renewable sources than is required by state law. For participants in both the Standard Green and 100% Green Plus options, Cambridge buys more electricity from renewable sources than is required by state law.
What remains the same
Otherwise, your primary relationship for electricity will remain with Eversource. This means:
- You will continue to receive one bill from Eversource. This is the only electric bill you will receive as a participant in the Cambridge Community Electricity Program.
- You will continue to call Eversource if your power goes out. Eversource will continue to deliver your electricity, restore electricity service after a power outage, and maintain the poles and wires.
- If you have solar panels on your property or participate in a community solar program, you will continue to receive solar credits and/or solar incentive payments, and participating in the Cambridge Community Electricity Program will not change how they are calculated.
- If you are eligible for a low-income discount or fuel assistance, you will continue to receive that discount.
Enrolling in the Cambridge Community Electricity Program
The Cambridge Community Electricity Program uses an automatic enrollment model, which is in accordance with state law. New electricity customers in Cambridge will be eligible for automatic enrollment in the program shortly after opening their electricity account. Before being automatically enrolled, you will receive a notice in the mail from the City with information about the program and how to opt out if you do not wish to participate.
You may also choose to request enrollment.
Participation is not required. You may opt out before being automatically enrolled or any time after enrollment, with no penalty. If you choose to opt out, Eversource will remain your electricity supplier, and they will use their own Basic Service price to calculate the Supply portion of your electric bill.