Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about Canton Electricity Choice and how it will impact you? See below for a list of frequently asked questions and answers. Also, check out the Learn More box to the right.

If you still don’t see what you’re looking for, please feel free to contact Canton’s program consultants for customer support.

General program information

What is Canton Electricity Choice?

Canton Electricity Choice is a municipal electricity aggregation, which is a form of group electricity purchasing.

Typically, your electric utility, Eversource, provides two sets of services to you:

  1. They deliver your electricity. Delivery services appear on your bill as your Delivery charge.
  2. They also supply your electricity, which means they buy electricity for you and pass the cost along to you. The cost of the electricity they buy for you appears on your bill as your Supply charge.

In Massachusetts, there are actually three ways to purchase your electricity:

  • Your utility can do it for you, as just described. This is called Basic Service, and this is how most people buy their electricity.
  • You can sign a contract with an electricity supplier yourself. You may have received offers in the mail or over the phone.
  • Your municipal government can sign a contract with an electricity supplier that you can benefit from. This third option is municipal electricity aggregation, and this is what Canton Electricity Choice is.

Learn more about how aggregation works.

What gives Canton the authority to launch a municipal electricity aggregation?

Municipal electricity aggregation was enabled by the Massachusetts Restructuring Act of 1997 (Chapter 164, Section 134), which allows local municipal governments to aggregate the electricity supply loads of the electricity consumers within their geographic boundaries in order to negotiate more favorable terms with an electricity supplier.

Municipal aggregations are subject to oversight by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, and Canton’s Aggregation Plan was subject to a regulatory review and approval process before the Town was authorized to implement the program. (Learn more about Canton’s implementation process.)

Nearly 50% of Massachusetts communities have already launched electricity aggregations.

Why is Canton launching this program?

The goals of Canton Electricity Choice are to provide more clean, renewable electricity, price stability, and consumer protections to Canton residents and businesses at a price that is competitive with Eversource’s Basic Service price and other offers in the marketplace.

Canton Electricity Choice is a Town alternative to Eversource’s Basic Service. It is also a transparent alternative to other electricity offers, but without the high pressure or fees of those other offers.

While Canton Electricity Choice offers the potential for savings when compared with Eversource’s Basic Service price, Canton Electricity Choice cannot guarantee savings. This is because Eversource’s prices change and their future prices are not known. Further, it is normal for aggregation programs like Canton Electricity Choice to have a price that is lower than Eversource’s at some times but higher at other times. The aim is to provide some savings when compared with the average of Eversource’s changing prices.

How will I benefit from Canton Electricity Choice?

With Canton Electricity Choice, the Town uses the bulk buying power of the community to provide you with electricity choices that give you greater control over the environmental characteristics and price of your electricity supply.

  • Cleaner electricity – Canton Electricity Choice participants automatically receive more renewable electricity than is required by state law. You can also choose to receive 100% of your electricity from renewable sources for a small premium.
  • Price stability – The program will provide a fixed price for electricity supply for 24 months that will not spike in winter. This makes the program different from Eversource’s Basic Service, where the price changes every six months or less and can rise seasonally.
  • Consumer protections – Canton Electricity Choice will provide a trustworthy, Town-vetted alternative to other electricity supply offers in the marketplace. The program will include consumer protections, such as no hidden fees and the ability to opt out of the program at any time with no penalty.

In addition, Canton Electricity Choice offers savings when compared with Eversource’s residential Basic Service price at launch. A residential customer using 500 kWh each month will save nearly $19/month by participating in the program through July 31, 2024. However, Canton cannot guarantee savings in the future because Eversource’s prices will change, and their future prices are not known. The aim of Canton Electricity Choice is to provide some savings when compared with the average of Eversource’s changing prices, not to provide savings each season, and it is normal for aggregation programs like Canton Electricity Choice to have a price that is lower than Eversource’s price at some times but higher at other times.

Is Canton the only community in Massachusetts implementing an aggregation?

No. Municipal electricity aggregation has been building momentum across Massachusetts. Canton is joining more than 170 other Massachusetts communities that already have approved aggregations. Further, communities are increasingly implementing “green” aggregations like Canton Electricity Choice, which increase the amount of renewable electricity in the community’s electricity supply beyond the minimum amount required by state law.

What will change for me with Canton Electricity Choice?

You will see two key changes on your electric bill as a result of participating in Canton Electricity Choice:

  1. Eversource will use a Canton Electricity Choice price to calculate the Supply charge on your bill. At program launch, that price is lower than Eversource’s residential Basic Service price.
  2. Your bill will show CantonElectricityChc-Constellation as your electricity supplier.

Additionally:

  • The amount of electricity you receive from renewable sources will increase if you participate in either the Canton Standard Green or Canton Plus Green options.
  • If you participate in Eversource’s Budget Billing, it will continue to apply to the Delivery portion of your electric bill, but it will no longer apply to the Supply portion of your bill.

Otherwise, everything else will remain the same. You will continue to receive your electric bill from Eversource, you will continue to pay Eversource, and you will continue to call Eversource if your power goes out.

If you are eligible for any discounts from Eversource, such as a low-income discount, those discounts will be unaffected by your participation in Canton Electricity Choice.

I received a call/visit/letter in the mail about my electricity bill. Is it from the Town, this program, or Eversource?

All communications about Canton Electricity Choice will include the Canton Town Seal. If you do not see the Town Seal, the communication is not from the Town of Canton and is likely from an independent company.

Please note: Eversource, the Town of Canton, and Canton Electricity Choice do not make sales calls or visits to your home. If you receive a call or a visit, the person does NOT represent Eversource, the Town of Canton, or Canton Electricity Choice. 

If you want to confirm whether you have received a legitimate Town communication, you can contact customer support with Canton’s program consultants.

If you receive a call or a visit from someone who wants to discuss your electricity, keep these two things in mind:

  • You should treat your Eversource electricity account number like you treat your credit card information. Do not give it out unless you want to purchase your electricity from someone else.
  • You do have the right to select an electricity supplier of your choice. If you choose to explore this option, please check the terms of the agreement carefully. Things to check for include, but are not limited to: minimum bill amounts, contract length requirements, early termination fees, low introductory rates that change after the introductory period ends, and rates that vary.

If you feel a sales person has fraudulently identified themselves as working for Eversource or the Town, please report it to the Department of Public Utilities Consumer Division 617-737-2836, or DPUConsumer.Complaints@state.ma.us.

How long will Canton Electricity Choice last?

The Town of Canton has signed a contract with Constellation New Energy to supply electricity to Canton Electricity Choice participants until June 2026. The Town intends to sign a new electricity supply contract at that point, which would extend the program for the duration of that contract. However, if the Town decides the program is not beneficial to the community, it is free to cancel the program at the end of the supply contract and return all participants to Eversource’s Basic Service. In either scenario, program participants will receive advance notification from the Town.

Who do I call if the power goes out?

Call Eversource if your power goes out, as always. Eversource will continue to deliver your electricity and maintain the poles and wires, and remains responsible for addressing power outages.

I have solar panels on my property or I participate in a community solar program. If I join Canton Electricity Choice, will I continue to receive the credits or receive or make payments that I do now?

Yes. If you are participating in community solar or have solar panels on your property you will continue to receive net metering credits, receive incentive payments, or make solar power purchase payments as a participant in Canton Electricity Choice.

Further, there will be no change in how those credits and payments are calculated. Their calculation is not connected to your electricity supply price.

However, you could see a benefit. If your electricity Supply charge is lower because the Canton Electricity Choice price is lower than Eversource’s Basic Service price, the credits or incentive payments could go further in offsetting that charge.

Please note, however, that because Eversource’s Basic Service prices change and their future prices are not known, savings compared with Eversource can never be guaranteed.

How do I maintain my account's tax-exempt status if I participate in Canton Electricity Choice?

Tax-exempt accounts that wish to maintain their tax-exempt status in Canton Electricity Choice must submit tax-exemption documentation to the program’s electricity supplier.

This means that tax-exemption documentation must be submitted each time the program’s electricity supplier changes.

The program’s electricity supplier is required by the State of Massachusetts to have valid tax-exemption documentation on hand for all tax-exempt accounts.

You may have submitted tax-exemption documentation to Eversource already, but Eversource does not share this documentation with the program’s electricity supplier. It is the customer’s responsibility to submit this documentation.

Learn where to submit your tax-exemption documentation.

What's the difference between Canton Electricity Choice and other electricity supply offers?
Eversource’s Basic Service Canton Electricity Choice Other electricity supply offers
On the bill you’ll see: Basic Service Fixed CantonElectricityChc-Constellation Anything else
Price change frequency: Every 6 months for residential and small business. More frequently for large business. Rarely. Canton signs long-term electricity supply contracts. Current prices are fixed until June 2026. While some offer fixed prices, many offer a low introductory price followed by a sharp increase and monthly changes.
Exit fee? No. Leave any time, no fee or penalty. No. Leave any time, no fee or penalty. Early termination fees often apply.
Renewable energy: Just the minimum required by Massachusetts law. Includes additional renewable energy from New England for both the Canton Standard Green and Canton Plus Green options. If they offer renewable energy, it is often renewable energy from outside New England sold at a markup.

Enrolling and participating

How do I participate in Canton Electricity Choice?

Most electricity accounts in Canton will be automatically enrolled when the program launches in June.

Specifically, electricity accounts on Eversource’s Basic Service will be automatically enrolled, unless they opt out. The automatic enrollment model is state law for all programs like Canton Electricity Choice. If your account is eligible for automatic enrollment, you will receive a notice in the mail from the Town.

If you have a private contract with an electricity supplier at the time the program launches or you opened your account very recently, your account will not be automatically enrolled, but you can request enrollment online or by contacting customer support with Canton’s program consultants. Please be aware that private electricity supply contracts may include early termination fees, so you should carefully review your current contract terms and conditions before making that decision.

Who is eligible to participate in Canton Electricity Choice?

All metered electricity customers within the geographic boundaries of Canton are eligible to participate. Canton electricity customers with Eversource’s Basic Service (meaning those who have not signed a private contract with an electricity supplier) are eligible for automatic enrollment. The automatic enrollment model is state law.

Is participation required? What if I don't want to participate?

While the program has an automatic enrollment model in accordance with state law, participation is never required. There is no penalty for opting out. You may do so at any time.

  • If you receive a notice in the mail that your account will be automatically enrolled, you may opt out of the program before being automatically enrolled.
  • You may also try the program and opt out at any time in the future.

If you opt out, the Supply portion of your Eversource electric bill will remain on Eversource’s Basic Service price.

Can I opt out and then re-enroll?

Yes, however if you opt out of the program and want to re-enroll, there’s a possibility that you will be charged a market price instead of the program price. You’ll just want to ask at the time you re-enroll.

I have a large commercial account. Am I eligible for program pricing?

Large commercial accounts may be eligible for higher market pricing instead of program pricing when they request initial enrollment in the program. If you are interested in submitting an enrollment request for your large commercial account, please contact customer support.

I have already signed my own contract with an electricity supplier. Can I participate in Canton Electricity Choice?

If you have signed an electricity supply contract with another supplier, you are welcome to participate in Canton Electricity Choice, but you will not be automatically enrolled.

You may request enrollment online or by calling customer support with Canton’s program consultants at 1-844-202-6101.

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.

Important note: For any customer who previously opted out of or left the program and wishes to re-enroll, the program’s electricity supplier is entitled to charge a market price instead of the program price for the remainder of the current electricity supply contract. If the program’s electricity supplier decides to charge market pricing, you will be notified before enrollment and can decide then whether to continue with enrollment or not.

How do I choose Canton Plus Green or Canton Basic?

To choose the Canton Plus Green or Canton Basic, complete the online form or call customer support at 1-844-202-6101.

Pricing, potential savings, and billing

Will Canton Electricity Choice provide savings compared with Eversource's prices?

Canton Electricity Choice offers savings when compared with Eversource’s residential Basic Service price at launch. A residential customer using 500 kWh each month will save nearly $19/month by participating in the program.

However, Canton Electricity Choice cannot guarantee savings in the future because Eversource’s prices will change, and their future prices are not known.

The aim of Canton Electricity Choice is to provide some savings when compared with the average of Eversource’s changing prices, not to provide savings each season, and it is normal for aggregation programs like Canton Electricity Choice to have a price that is lower than Eversource’s price at some times but higher at other times.

The key reasons that Canton is able to obtain a price that is lower than Eversource’s current Basic Service price are:
  • Canton is able to choose an electricity supply contract term length that provides the best pricing. Eversource is not able to choose the length of the contracts it signs.
  • Canton is able to choose when it locks in prices and can go to market when prices are competitive. Eversource must lock in prices on a schedule dictated by state regulators.
What will my electricity supply price be if I participate in Canton Electricity Choice?

Program prices are available on the Program Options and Prices page.

Will I know the program options and the price for each before I am enrolled?

Yes. If you are an Eversource Basic Service customer and eligible for automatic enrollment in Canton Electricity Choice, you will receive a notice in the mail with program information, including pricing, before you are enrolled.

Canton Electricity Choice will provide a stable electricity supply price. Why is a stable electricity supply price important?

Having a stable price for the Supply portion of your electricity bill can protect you from the seasonal price increases that occur when you have Eversource’s Basic Service pricing. When you have Eversource’s Basic Service, the price that is used to calculate the Supply portion of your electricity bill changes every 6 months for residential and small business accounts and every 3 months for large business accounts, often rising in the winter. Those seasonal changes will not occur with Canton’s long-term fixed prices.

Having a stable price for the Supply portion of your electricity bill can also provide a predictable alternative to the variable prices of some electricity supply offers in the marketplace. Some electricity supply offers will provide a stable price for a few months, but then the price will vary monthly and will rise significantly. Canton Electricity Choice prices will not change until June 2026.

 

What if Eversource's price falls below the Canton Electricity Choice price?

The Canton Electricity Choice price is a long-term, fixed price, while Eversource’s Basic Service price changes seasonally. It is normal in programs like Canton Electricity Choice to have a price that is lower than Eversource’s price at some times but higher at other times. Canton Electricity Choice cannot guarantee that it will beat Eversource’s Basic Service price at all times. The program aims to match or beat the average of the changing Eversource prices, although there is no guarantee that it will do so.

Remember that you are free to leave the program at any time and return to Eversource’s Basic Service without penalty or fee.

Will I receive a second electricity bill?

No. Eversource will continue to bill you for your electricity. This is the only electricity bill you will receive as a participant in Canton Electricity Choice. The program will be integrated into your existing electricity bill. See where the program will appear on your Eversource bill.

Where will I see Canton Electricity Choice on my Eversource electricity bill?

You will see two changes on your electric bill as a result of participating in Canton Electricity Choice:

  1. Eversource will use a Canton Electricity Choice price to calculate the Supply charge on your bill. At program launch, that price is lower than Eversource’s residential Basic Service price.
  2. Your bill will show CantonElectricityChc-Constellation as your electricity supplier.

See where the program will appear on your Eversource bill.

I currently have Eversource's budget billing. Will this change?

Yes. When you participate in Canton Electricity Choice, Eversource’s budget billing will apply only to the Delivery charge portion of your bill. It will no longer apply to the Supply charge portion of your bill.

If it is important to have Budget Billing apply to your whole bill, you should opt out of Canton Electricity Choice.

I currently receive a low-income discount from Eversource or fuel assistance. Will this change?

No. If you are eligible for any discount from Eversource or fuel assistance, you will continue to receive that benefit with no change as a participant in Canton Electricity Choice.

Electricity supply and electricity suppliers

I have already signed my own contract with an electricity supplier. Can I participate in Canton Electricity Choice?

If you have signed an electricity supply contract with another supplier, you are welcome to participate in Canton Electricity Choice, but you will not be automatically enrolled.

You may request enrollment online or by calling customer support with Canton’s program consultants at 1-844-202-6101.

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.

Important note: For any customer who previously opted out of or left the program and wishes to re-enroll, the program’s electricity supplier is entitled to charge a market price instead of the program price for the remainder of the current electricity supply contract. If the program’s electricity supplier decides to charge market pricing, you will be notified before enrollment and can decide then whether to continue with enrollment or not.

What's the difference between Eversource and an electricity supplier?

In Massachusetts, an electric utility like Eversource is fundamentally an electricity delivery company. Eversource does not generate electricity for you. They are responsible for delivering electricity to you, for maintaining the poles and wires, and for addressing power outages. They charge you for these services on the Delivery portion of your electricity bill.

An electricity supplier is a company that buys electricity for you.

  • For most electricity customers, their utility is also their electricity supplier. When you first open your electricity account, this is the case. When Eversource is also your electricity supplier, you have what is known as Eversource’s Basic Service.
  • You may also choose your own electricity supplier. If you do, the name of that company will appear on your Eversource bill as your electricity supplier, and Eversource will use the price you secured from that electricity supplier to calculate the Supply charge on your bill.
  • With Canton Electricity Choice, the Town chooses an electricity supplier. If you participate, the name of the company selected by the Town appears on your Eversource bill as your electricity supplier, and Eversource will use a Canton Electricity Choice price to calculate the Supply charge on your bill.
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 Basic Service, your electric utility (Eversource) is your electricity supplier and also delivers the electricity to you.

With Canton Electricity Choice, Eversource continues to deliver your electricity, but Canton chooses own electricity supplier.

What is a competitive electricity supplier?

A competitive electricity supplier is not your electric utility. Electricity suppliers do not deliver your electricity. They buy it for you, and your electric utility delivers it.

A competitive electricity supplier is a company licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to purchase electricity and related services from the wholesale electricity markets for resale to retail electricity customers.

If you sign a private contract with an electricity supplier or you participate in a municipal program like Canton Electricity Choice, your electric utility (Eversource in Canton) will use your electricity supplier’s price to calculate the Supply charge on your electricity bill instead of their own Basic Service price.

Eversource

Does Canton Electricity Choice replace Eversource as my electric utility?

No. Eversource remains the electric utility for Canton and will continue to deliver your electricity, and your primary relationship for electricity will remain with Eversource.

Canton Electricity Choice changes the price that Eversource uses to calculate the Supply charge portion of your electric bill, and it changes your electricity supplier to CantonElectricityChc-Constellation.

Will Eversource provide me with a lower quality of service if I participate in Canton Electricity Choice?

No. Eversource’s quality of service to you will be unaffected by your participation in Canton Electricity Choice. Eversource does not profit from the Supply charge on your electric bill. They make their profit from Delivery charges. As a result, they have no preference whether they choose your supplier or Canton does.

I currently receive a low-income discount from Eversource or fuel assistance. Will that change?

No. If you are eligible for any discount from Eversource or fuel assistance, you will continue to receive that benefit with no change as a participant in Canton Electricity Choice.

Renewable electricity

What is renewable electricity?

Renewable energy is generated by sources that can be renewed as opposed to sources that can be used only once, such as fossil fuels.

Under Massachusetts state law, a variety of resources qualify as renewable. The main sources of renewable electricity are solar, wind, and small hydroelectric projects, which do not emit greenhouse gases or pollution.

Why is using electricity generated from renewable sources important?

Using electricity energy generated from renewable sources is an important step you can take to fight climate change and increase your independence from fossil fuels like gas, coal, and oil.

Electricity generated from renewable sources does not cause air pollution and does not emit the gases that cause climate change.

If I enroll in Canton Standard Green or Canton Plus Green, does this mean that more of the electricity that flows into my home or business comes from renewable sources?

No. The electricity that flows into your home or business comes from the grid, which contains electricity generated from a mix of sources, some traditional and some renewable. It is not possible to separate out the portion that is from renewable sources and direct it to your home or business.

By enrolling in Canton Standard Green or Canton Plus Green, more of the the electricity that is put into the grid on your behalf is generated from renewable sources.

What is the minimum amount of renewable electricity required by Massachusetts law?

The minimum amount increases every year. For 2024, Massachusetts state law requires that 62% of your electricity comes from renewable or clean sources. Of that total:

  • 24% comes from newer renewable energy projects in the New England region (Massachusetts Class I RECs).
  • 38% comes from older renewable energy projects in New England (Massachusetts Class II RECs), and from sources that are renewable but not necessarily clean (trash to energy) and sources that are clean but not renewable (nuclear).

For more information, visit the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources page on compliance information for the Renewable Portfolio Standard.

Does buying extra renewable energy through a program like Canton Electricity Choice have an impact?

Yes. For example, in 2022, programs like Canton Electricity Choice, known as municipal electricity aggregations, purchased more than 776,000 Class I RECs voluntarily.

This equates to 776,000 MWh (or 776,000,000 kWh) of energy generated from renewable sources, which is the amount of energy generated by 600 MW of solar PV or 200 MW of wind in one year.

This equals almost 2% of the total electricity used in the state. It means an additional almost 2% of the electricity used in the state was from renewable sources in 2022 because of programs like Canton Electricity Choice.