How aggregation works

Municipal electricity aggregation is a form of group electricity purchasing. An electricity aggregation program like Pepperell Community Electricity replaces your electricity supplier, and it changes the price that National Grid 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 National Grid as your electric utility.

Here’s how it works:

Without Pepperell Community Electricity

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

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

Electricity delivery

National Grid’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 Services portion of your electricity bill.

Electricity supply

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

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

  • The Delivery Services portion of your bill is calculated based on regulated Delivery prices.
  • The Supply Services portion of your bill is calculated using National Grid’s Basic Service price. National Grid’s Basic Service price changes every 6 months for residential and commercial customers and every 3 months for industrial customers.

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

With Pepperell Community Electricity

If you participate in a municipal electricity aggregation program like Pepperell Community Electricity, National Grid continues to deliver your electricity, but you no longer have National Grid’s Basic Service for the Supply Services portion of your electricity bill. Instead, the Town of Pepperell 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 Pepperell Community Electricity, National Grid uses a Pepperell Community Electricity price to calculate the Supply Services charge on your electricity bill instead of their own Basic Service price.

Otherwise, the relationship between National Grid and electricity customers in Pepperell does not change, and your electricity flows without interruption:

What changes on your electricity bill

If you participate, you will see just two changes on your National Grid electricity bill:

  1. The electricity supplier for Pepperell Community Electricity will be listed on your bill as your electricity supplier.
  2. National Grid will use a Pepperell Community Electricity price to calculate the Supply Services charge on your electricity bill instead of their own Basic Service price.

See an example National Grid electric bill.

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

  • You will continue to receive your electric bill from National Grid. This is the only electric bill you will receive as a participant in Pepperell Community Electricity.
  • You will continue to call National Grid if your power goes out. National Grid 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 Pepperell Community Electricity 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 Pepperell electricity customers that have National Grid’s Basic Service, meaning electricity customers that have not signed a private contract with an electricity supplier, will be eligible for automatic enrollment in Pepperell Community Electricity when the program launches. 

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

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, National Grid will continue to be your electricity supplier and will continue to use their own Basic Service price to calculate the Supply Service portion of your electric bill.