How aggregation works

Municipal electricity aggregation is a form of group electricity purchasing. An electricity aggregation program like Chelsea Electricity Choice replaces your electricity supplier, and it changes the price that Eversource uses to calculate the supply services charge on your electricity 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 Chelsea Electricity Choice

(Unless you already have a contract with an electricity supplier)

Typically, Eversource provides two services to you as an electricity customer, and your electricity bill includes charges for both of these services:

Electricity delivery

Eversource’s primary role is as an electricity delivery company. They deliver electricity to you, maintain the poles and wires, and address power outages. They charge you for these services on the delivery part of your Eversource electricity bill.

Electricity supply

For most people, Eversource also provides a second service, which is as an electricity supplier. They purchase electricity on your behalf and charge you on the supply part of your Eversource electricity bill for the amount you use. When Eversource is your electricity supplier, you have Eversource’s Basic Service. 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.

Diagram showing Eversource delivering and supplying electricity

Eversource’s fixed Basic Service prices change seasonally, every 6 months for residential and small business customers and every 3 months for large business customers, and future prices are not known.

With Chelsea Electricity Choice

In an electricity aggregation like Chelsea Electricity Choice, Eversource continues to deliver your electricity and you continue to call them when the power goes out, but you no longer have Eversource’s Basic Service for the supply portion of your electricity bill. Instead, the City of Chelsea uses the bulk purchasing power of the community to negotiate a contract with an electricity supplier on behalf of residents and businesses and to determine the price of the community’s electricity supply and whether any additional renewable electricity is included. If you participate in Chelsea Electricity Choice, Eversource uses the Chelsea Electricity Choice price to calculate the supply portion of your electricity bill instead of their own Basic Service price.

Diagram showing an electricity supplier, Eversource, and the city of Chelsea

What changes with the program

If you participate, you will see two changes on your Eversource electricity bill:

  1. Chelsea’s electricity supplier will be listed on your bill as your electricity supplier
  2. Eversource will use the Chelsea Electricity Choice price to calculate the supply portion of your electricity bill instead of their own Basic Service price.

See an example Eversource bill.

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 electricity bill you will receive as a participant in Chelsea Electricity Choice.
  • You will continue to call Eversource if your power goes out. Eversource will continue to deliver electricity, restore electricity service after a power outage, and maintain the poles and wires.
  • If you receive net metering credits from solar panels on your Eversource bill, those will continue to be calculated using Eversource’s Basic Service price, not using the Chelsea Electricity Choice price.
  • If you are eligible for a low-income discount, you will continue to receive that discount.

Participating in the program

All Chelsea electricity customers that have Eversource’s Basic Service, meaning electricity customers that have not signed their own contract with an electricity supplier, will be automatically enrolled when the program launches, unless they choose to opt out. The automatic enrollment model is state law.

This means most electricity customers in Chelsea will be enrolled in Chelsea Electricity Choice.

If your account is eligible for automatic enrollment, you will receive a notification in mail from the City of Chelsea before it happens. The letter will include pricing information and instructions for opting out if you do not wish to participate. Opting out will be easy, and you may opt out before being automatically enrolled or any time after enrollment, with no fee or penalty. If you choose to opt out, Eversource will continue to be your electricity supplier and will continue to use their own Basic Service price to calculate the supply portion of your electricity bill.

If you have already signed a contract with an electricity supplier at the time Chelsea Electricity Choice launches, your account will not be automatically enrolled. However, you may choose to participate, and enrolling will be an easy process.

More information about participating will be available after the program receives regulatory approval.