Program implementation process

Implementing a municipal electricity aggregation program like Chelsea Electricity Choice is a regulated process that is overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU). The implementation process can take as long as a year to complete because this is how long it usually takes the DOER and the DPU to approve a City’s implementation plan for the program. Key steps include:

1. City Council vote

Chelsea must vote publicly to pursue aggregation.

  • The Chelsea City Council vote occurred on October 21, 2019.

2. Regulatory review

Chelsea submits an aggregation plan document to the Massachusetts DOER for review and then to the Massachusetts DPU for approval. This document is a broad template that demonstrates how Chelsea will meet regulatory requirements. This process typically takes many months.

  • Chelsea’s aggregation plan was reviewed by the Massachusetts DOER on January 27, 2021.
  • Chelsea’s aggregation plan was submitted to the Massachusetts DPU on February 26, 2021. The DPU held a hearing to accept public comments on the plan on July 20, 2021.
  • Chelsea’s aggregation plan received approval from state regulators on December 27, 2023. The City anticipates launching the program in 2024.

3. Signing an electricity supply contract 

Once the State regulatory review process is complete and the aggregation plan has received formal approval by the state, Chelsea implements a public procurement process to select and sign a contract with an electricity supplier. During this process, program details will be finalized, including the amount of renewable energy in any program options and the price for each option.

  • Chelsea signed a 24-month electricity supply contract with Direct Energy on March 5, 2024. The contract term is June 2024 – June 2026.

4. Public engagement and education

After the electricity supply contract is signed, Chelsea conducts an intensified public engagement effort to inform the community about program details and the ability to opt out. This effort includes mailing a letter to each electricity account holder who will be automatically enrolled in the program if they do not opt out, as well as public information sessions.

  • Coming-soon postcard mailing date: April 9, 2024.
  • Automatic enrollment notification mailing date: April 16, 2024.

5. Program launch

At the conclusion of that effort, the program launches and electricity accounts are enrolled. Any account on Eversource’s Basic Service will be automatically enrolled into the program, unless they choose to opt out. (Automatic enrollment is the state law.) Any account that is in an electricity supply contract at the time of program launch will not be automatically enrolled, but will have the option to join the program.

  • Program launch: June 2024 meter reads.