What is the Sutton Power Choice program?
National Grid is responsible for electricity delivery in Sutton. 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 Sutton Power Choice program is an alternative to Basic Service called electricity aggregation. Electricity aggregation is a 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.
Sutton currently has a contract with Agera Energy to be the Town’s electricity supplier. For program participants, National Grid will deliver electricity, but Agera Energy will supply it.
What will my electricity supply price be?
The program offers two options:
- Power Choice Standard is 10.930 ¢/kWh for all customers/rate classes. This option meets state renewable energy requirements. New National Grid Basic Service customers are automatically enrolled in Power Choice Standard.
- Power Choice Green is 10.952 ¢/kWh for all customers/rate classes. This option provides electricity powered by 100% green energy and exceeds state requirements for local renewable energy by 20%. You may select Power Choice Green by calling Agera Energy at 1-855-973-2788.
How much will I save?
The program goal is savings, but savings cannot be predicted or guaranteed. The program price is fixed until January 2021 meter reads, while National Grid electricity supply prices change. The program price may not always be below National Grid. The program goal is to deliver savings when compared with the average of National Grid’s changing rates. Savings will apply only to the supply portion of your bill. National Grid’s delivery charges will be unaffected.
How do I join the program?
New National Grid Basic Service customers will be automatically enrolled in the program. However, this can take a few months. For faster enrollment, you may call Agera Energy at 1-855-973-2788 and ask to join.
If you have signed an electricity supply contract with another supplier, you will not be automatically enrolled. But you are invited to join. Before joining, we recommend that you first check the terms of your existing electricity supply contract. Many include minimum enrollment periods and early termination fees. If you wish to join, call Agera Energy at 1-855-973-2788 and ask to join.
How long will the program last?
As long as Sutton decides it is providing value. The contract with Agera Energy runs through January 2021 meter reads. Sutton can then establish a new electricity supply contract, or end the program and return participants to National Grid’s Basic Service.
What happens in January 2021, at the end of the contract with Agera Energy?
As the current electricity supply contract with Agera Energy nears its end, Sutton has a choice. If the program is going well, Sutton can request proposals from electricity suppliers for a new contract. If the Town receives a price that is favorable, they can sign a new contract, and all program participants will be automatically moved to that new contract. Otherwise, Sutton may choose to cancel the program. If that occurs, all program participants will be returned automatically to National Grid’s Basic Service.
How does the program impact my National Grid electricity bill?
You will see two changes on your National Grid electricity bill after enrollment:
- Your electricity supply price will change to the program price.
- You will see Agera Energy listed instead of Basic Service on the Supplier Services portion of your bill.
Everything else will remain the same. You will continue to receive your bill from National Grid, pay National Grid, and call National Grid when your power goes out.
Who is eligible to participate?
All metered electricity customers within the geographic boundaries of Sutton are eligible to participate. All National Grid Basic Service customers will receive a notification letter and will be automatically enrolled, unless they choose to opt out.
I have signed my own contract with an electricity supplier. Can I participate?
If you have already signed a contract with an electricity supplier, you will not automatically be enrolled in Sutton Power Choice.
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.
To participate in the program, call Agera Energy at 1-855-973-2788.
Do I have to participate? / Am I locked in?
You may choose not to participate, and you may leave the program after you join. 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 be placed on Basic Service with your utility.
You may opt out at any time by calling Agera Energy at 1-855-973-2788 or online.
Who do I call when the power goes out?
Call National Grid if your power goes out, as always. National Grid will continue to deliver your electricity and maintain the poles and wires.
Will I receive a second bill?
No. National Grid will continue to bill you for your electricity. This is the only electricity bill you will receive as a participant in Sutton Power Choice.
Will I receive a lower quality of service from National Grid if I participate in this program?
No. National Grid’s quality of service to you will be unaffected by your participation in Sutton Power Choice. 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 choose your supplier or Sutton does.
What if National Grid’s price falls below the program price?
The program price is fixed until January 2021. National Grid’s 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, National Grid’s Basic Service price will fall below the program price. The program goal is to beat the average of the changing National Grid Basic Service prices.
If National Grid’s 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 a low-income rate. Will this change?
No. If you participate in budget billing or are eligible for any discounts from National Grid, those will be unaffected by your participation in Sutton 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.
Is Sutton the only community in Massachusetts creating this kind of program?
No. Municipal electricity aggregation has been building momentum across Massachusetts. More than 100 Massachusetts cities and towns are now pursuing electricity aggregations.