How aggregation works

Pepperell Community Electricity is a municipal electricity aggregation, which is a kind of group electricity buying program for a city or town.

  • Pepperell buys electricity from an electricity supplier that it chooses.
  • You receive a new price for the Electricity Supply charge on your National Grid bill.
  • National Grid remains Pepperell’s electric utility and continues to deliver your electricity, address power outages, and handle all billing as it does now.

Aggregation is possible because in Massachusetts we can choose our electricity supplier, which is the company that puts electricity on the grid for us.

But we have no choice in our electric delivery utility. If you live in Pepperell, National Grid is your electric delivery utility no matter what.

Municipal electricity aggregation was enabled by the Massachusetts Restructuring Act of 1997 (Chapter 164, Section 134) and is regulated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.

Before aggregation

Before an aggregation launches, most customers have National Grid’s Basic Service. This means National Grid is supplying (buying) your electricity in addition to delivering it, and National Grid uses their Basic Service price to calculate the Electricity Supply charge on your bill. You are placed on National Grid’s Basic Service when you first open your account, and you can always go back to it.

National Grid’s Basic Service prices change every 6 months or less.

Diagram describing how delivery and supply works without Pepperell Community Electricity. Detailed description above after the header Before aggregation.

With an aggregation in place

With an aggregation, an electricity supplier chosen by Pepperell, First Point Power, supplies your electricity, but National Grid continues to deliver it without interruption. National Grid uses the price provided by First Point Power to calculate the Electricity Supply charge on your bill instead of their Basic Service price. Pepperell Community Electricity prices are fixed until November 2026.

Diagram describing how delivery and supply works with Pepperell Community Electricity. Detailed description above after the header With an aggregation in place.

Your primary relationship for electricity remains with National Grid:

  • You continue to call National Grid if you lose power.
  • National Grid continues to send your bill, and this is the only electric bill you will receive as a participant in Pepperell Community Electricity.
  • You continue to send bill payments to National Grid.

If you are eligible for a low-income discount or fuel assistance, you continue to receive that benefit. If you have National Grid’s Budget Billing, it continues to apply to your whole bill.

If you are participating in community solar, or you are receiving net metering credits or incentive payments for electricity produced by solar panels on your property, you will continue to receive your credits or incentive payments as a participant in Pepperell Community Electricity. Further, there will be no change in how they are calculated. Their calculation is not connected to your Electricity Supply price.

 

Will you save money?

Maybe! According to a report by UMass Amherst, the majority of communities with aggregation programs do see some savings compared with National Grid’s Basic Service prices. At launch, the prices for the Pepperell Basic and Pepperell Greener options are lower than National Grid’s residential Basic Service price.

However, Pepperell Community Electricity offers long-term fixed prices, while National Grid’s prices change every 6 months or less. As a result, savings compared with National Grid can never be guaranteed.

If you are not happy with the program, you are always free to leave the program at any time with no fee or penalty.

Learn more about aggregation