Program Implementation Process
Implementing a municipal electricity aggregation program like Newton Power 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:
City Council vote: The City must vote publicly to pursue aggregation.
- The Newton City Council voted to pursue municipal electricity aggregation on 3/20/17.
Regulatory review: The City 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 the City will meet regulatory requirements.
- Newton’s aggregation plan was reviewed by the DOER on 1/31/18.
City program planning and initial public engagement: At the same time as the regulatory review, the City conducts a lengthy planning and public engagement process to build awareness and to help the City to determine how much additional renewable energy to include in the default program offering. Learn how you can provide input into the planning process.
Choosing an electricity supplier and signing an electricity supply contract: Once the State regulatory review process is complete and the aggregation plan has received formal approval by the state, the City 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, above the amount required by state law, the amount of renewable energy in any program options, and the price for each option.
Public engagement and education: The City continues to conduct a public engagement effort to inform the community about program details and the ability to opt out. This effort includes the mailing of a letter to each electricity account holder who will be automatically enrolled in the program if he/she does not opt out, as well as public information sessions.
Program launch: At the conclusion of that effort, the program launches.
The City is targeting late 2018 / early 2019 for program launch, depending on the duration of the State regulatory review and approval process.