What is the Salem PowerChoice program?
National Grid is responsible for electricity delivery in Salem. In addition, National Grid typically chooses your electricity supplier and passes the cost of the electricity itself, known as electricity supply, along to you. This is called Basic Service.
The Salem PowerChoice program is an alternative to Basic Service called electricity aggregation. Electricity aggregation is form of group purchasing in which a town selects an electricity supplier on behalf of its residents and businesses. The goal is to negotiate the best price possible for everyone for the electricity supply portion of their electric bill.
With Salem PowerChoice, National Grid delivers electricity to Salem, but Salem chooses its own electricity supplier through a public RFP process.
What will my electricity supply price be?
Your price depends on which program option you participate in. The program offers three options:
- PowerChoice Standard is 100% green. National Grid Basic Service customers are automatically enrolled in Power Choice Standard unless they choose a different option or opt out.
- PowerChoice Plus is 100% green plus a focus on local renewable energy. Specifically, it includes 20% more energy from New England renewable energy projects than required by Massachusetts law.
- PowerChoice Basic meets minimum Massachusetts renewable energy requirements, like National Grid Basic Service.
See the Options & Pricing page for current program prices.
How long will the program last?
The aggregation will last as long as Salem wishes it to. The individual contracts that Salem signs with electricity suppliers are of varying lengths. When the current contract ends, Salem can establish a new contract for electricity supply, or it can end the program and return participants to National Grid Basic Service.
What changes with this program?
After program enrollment, you will see two changes on your National Grid electric bill:
- Your electricity supply price will change to the program price.
- You will see the City’s supplier listed instead of Basic Service on the Supplier Services portion of your bill.
Everything else will remain the same. You will receive your bill from National Grid, you will pay National Grid, and you will call National Grid when your power goes out.
Who is eligible to particpate?
All metered electricity customers within the geographic boundaries of Salem are eligible to participate. All National Grid Basic Service customers are automatically enrolled shortly after they establish an electricity account with National Grid, unless they choose to opt out of the program.
I have signed my own contract with an electricity supplier. Will I be enrolled in the program?
If you have already signed a contract with an electricity supplier before being enrolled in the program, you will not automatically be enrolled in Salem PowerChoice.
However, you are welcome to participate.
If you would like to participate, we recommend that you first check the terms of your existing electricity supply contract. Many include minimum enrollment periods and early termination fees. After checking, if you wish to join the program, call Agera Energy at 1-855-973-2788 and ask to join.
Do I have to participate?
No. You may choose not to participate. This is called opting out. There is no penalty for opting out. You may do so at any time. If you opt out, you will continue with or be returned to National Grid Basic Service.
You may opt out at any time by calling Agera Energy at 1-855-973-2788 or by opting out online.
Who do I call when the power goes out?
Call National Grid if your power goes out. National Grid will deliver your electricity and maintain the poles and wires.
Will I receive a second bill?
No. National Grid will bill you for your electricity. This is the only electricity bill you will receive as a participant in Salem PowerChoice.
Will I receive a lower quality of service if I participate in this program?
No. National Grid’s quality of service to you will be unaffected by your participation in Salem PowerChoice. The reason is because National Grid does not profit from the supply charges on your electric bill. They pass the electricity supply charges along to you with no markup. They make their profit from the distribution charges. As a result, they have no preference whether they are your supplier or Salem chooses a supplier for you.
What if the the National Grid Basic Service price falls below the program price?
National Grid Basic Service prices change every six months or less, depending on what kind of customer you are. As a result, it is likely that for some months, the Basic Service price will fall below the program price. The program goal is to beat the average of the changing Basic Service prices.
If the Basic Service price does fall below the program price, you are free to opt out of the program and return to Basic Service.
I am currently under National Grid budget billing/eligible for the low-income delivery rate. Will this change?
If you participate in budget billing or are eligible for any discounts from National Grid, those will be unaffected by your participation in Salem Power Choice.
I have solar panels on my property. If I join the program, will I continue to receive net metering credits?
Yes. Net metering will work the same way if you participate in the program. Your net metering credits from your solar panels will continue to appear on your National Grid bill and will continue to be calculated based on National Grid’s Basic Service price.