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 has chosen Public Power, LLC, as the Town’s electricity supplier. For program participants, National Grid will continue to deliver electricity, but Public Power will supply it.
What will my electricity supply price be?
The program offers two options:
- Power Choice Standard is 8.472 ¢/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 9.132 ¢/kWh for all customers/rate classes. This option provides 100% green energy and exceeds state requirements for local renewable energy by 20%. You may select Power Choice Green by calling Public Power at 1-800-834-2944.
How much will I save?
The program goal is savings, but savings cannot be predicted or guaranteed. The program price is fixed for 12 months (until January 2018 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?
All existing National Grid Basic Service customers were automatically enrolled at program launch with their January 2017 meter read.
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 Public Power at 1-800-830-2944 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 Public Power at at 1-800-830-2944 and ask to join.
How long will the program last?
Sutton has signed a 12-month contract with Public Power. The contract price will be in effect from January 2017 meter reads until January 2018 meter reads. Sutton can then establish a contract with a new electricity supplier or end the program and return participants to Basic Service.
What happens in January 2018, at the end of the contract with Public Power?
As the current electricity supply contract with Public Power 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 Basic Service.
What will change with this program?
You will see two changes on your National Grid electric bill after enrollment:
- Your electricity supply price will change to the program price.
- You will see Public Power 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 were automatically enrolled with their January 2017 meter read. New National Grid Basic Service customers will be automatically enrolled unless they choose to opt out.
I have signed my own contract with an electricity supplier. Will I be enrolled in the program?
No. 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 Public Power at 1-800-830-2944.
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 National Grid Basic Service.
You may opt out at any time by calling Public Power at 1-800-830-2944 or by opting out 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 for 12 months (January 2017 meter reads through January 2018 meter reads). 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 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. Sutton will be joining more than 70 other Massachusetts communities that already have active aggregations.