How aggregation works

Municipal electricity aggregation is a form of group electricity purchasing. An electricity aggregation program like Needham Power Choice replaces your electricity supplier, and it changes the price that Eversource uses to calculate the Supply charge 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 Needham Power Choice

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

Typically, Eversource provides two services to you as an electricity customer, and your electric 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 portion of your electric bill.

Electricity supply

Eversource also provides a second service, which is to be your electricity supplier. They purchase electricity on your behalf and charge you on the Supply portion of your electric bill for the amount you use.

When you first open your electricity account, Eversource both delivers and also supplies, or buys, your electricity.

  • The Delivery portion of your bill is calculated based on regulated Delivery prices.
  • The Supply portion of your bill is calculated using Eversource’s Basic Service price. Eversource’s Basic Service price changes every 6 months for residential and small business customers and every 3 months for large business customers.

The diagram below illustrates this scenario, where Eversource is both delivering and also supplying your electricity and Eversource’s Basic Service price is used to calculate your Supply charge.


With Needham Power Choice

If you participate in a municipal electricity aggregation program like Needham Power Choice, Eversource continues to deliver your electricity, but you no longer have Eversource’s Basic Service for the Supply portion of your electric bill. Instead, the Town of Needham uses the group purchasing power of the community to choose an electricity supplier and to determine the price of the community’s electricity supply and whether any additional renewable electricity is included.

If you participate in Needham Power Choice, Eversource uses a Needham Power Choice price to calculate the Supply charge on your electric bill instead of their own Basic Service price. Needham Power Choice will offer three pricing options: Needham Standard, Needham 100% Green, and Needham Budget.

Otherwise, the relationship between Eversource and electricity customers in Needham does not change, and your electricity flows without interruption:

What changes on your electric bill

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

  1. The electricity supplier for Needham Power Choice will be your electricity supplier.
  2. Eversource will use a Needham Power Choice price to calculate the Supply charge on your electric bill instead of their own Basic Service price.

See an example Eversource electric bill.

Otherwise, your primary relationship for electricity will remain with Eversource. This means:

  • You will continue to receive your electric bill from Eversource. This is the only electric bill you will receive as a participant in Needham Power 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 have solar panels on your property or you participate in a community solar program, you will continue to receive solar credits and/or solar incentive payments, and participating in Needham Power Choice will not change how they are calculated.
  • If you are eligible for a low-income discount, you will continue to receive that discount.

Participating in the program

All Needham electricity customers that have Eversource’s Basic Service, meaning electricity customers that have not signed a private contract with an electricity supplier, will be eligible for automatic enrollment in Needham Power Choice when the program launches. 

This means most electricity customers in Needham will be enrolled in Needham Power Choice. If your account is eligible for automatic enrollment, you will receive a notification in the mail from the Town of Needham with program details, including prices, before you are enrolled.

The automatic enrollment model is in accordance with state law, but you do not have to participate if you do not want to. You will be able to opt out before the program launches, or you can try the program and then opt out later 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 electric bill.