Program implementation process

Implementing a municipal electricity aggregation program like Northborough Power Choice is a regulated process that is overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU). The implementation process can take as long as a year to complete, because the regulatory review and approval process typically requires many months. The list below includes key milestones in the program implementation process.

1. Public vote

Northborough had to vote publicly to pursue aggregation.

  • The Town Meeting vote occurred on April 25, 2016.

2. Public review and comment

To obtain the necessary regulatory approval to launch Northborough Power Choice, the Town must first create an Aggregation Plan and make it available for public review and comment. The Aggregation Plan is a high-level authorization document that lays out the program structure and demonstrates how Northborough will meet regulatory requirements.

  • Northborough’s Aggregation Plan and other aggregation documents will be made available for a 30-day public review and comment period from February 12  – March 13, 2024, and presented to the public during the Northborough Select Board meeting on February 12, 2024.

3. Regulatory review and approval

Northborough must submit its Aggregation Plan to the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) for review and then to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) for approval before the program can launch. This regulatory review process typically takes many months and can take as long as a year to complete.

4. Choosing an electricity supplier and signing an electricity supply contract

Once the regulatory review process is complete and Northborough’s Aggregation Plan has received approval from the DPU, Northborough will implement 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.

5. Public notification and education

After the electricity supply contract is signed, Northborough will conduct a public education effort to inform the community about program details like price and renewable energy. This effort will include public information sessions. In addition, a formal notification letter will be sent from the Town to each electricity account holder who is eligible for automatic enrollment in the program. The letter will include information about program options and prices and how to opt out if you do not want to participate.

6. Program launch

At the conclusion of the public education effort, Northborough Power Choice will launch. Any account on National Grid’s Basic Service will be automatically enrolled in the program, unless they choose to opt out. (Automatic enrollment is state law.) Any electricity customer who has a private electricity supply contract at this time will not be automatically enrolled but will be able to enroll quickly and easily if they wish. Northborough is targeting 2025 for program launch, depending on the duration of the state regulatory review and approval process.