The Program Implementation Process
Implementing a municipal electricity aggregation in Massachusetts is a highly regulated process that is overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU).
The entire process takes many months and sometimes up to one year until program launch.
- The first step is for a City or Town to vote publicly on whether to pursue aggregation. Once that occurs, the City or Town develops an aggregation plan. The plan lays out the goals for the aggregation and the steps the City or Town will take to implement and manage the aggregation.
- The plan is then made available for a period of public comment. Typically, this public comment period lasts several weeks.
- After the public comment period, the City or Town submits the plan to the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) for review. This review is required, and the process typically takes several months. It includes a meeting with the DOER to discuss the plan and the goals for the aggregation. The DOER does not formally approve the plan, but they do provide a letter stating that they have reviewed it.
- After the DOER has reviewed the plan, it is then submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) for approval. This process also takes several months and includes a hearing before the DPU.
- Once the plan receives formal approval by the DPU, the city or town implements a public procurement process to select and sign a contract with an electricity supplier.
- After the supply contract is signed and typically during the last 30 days or so before the program launches, the town conducts a public education and outreach effort about the program. This effort includes a mailing about the program as well as informational events open to the community. This period is often known as the opt-out period. Electricity customers have 30 days to opt out of the aggregation before it launches if they do not wish to participate in it at all. They retain the right to opt out after it launches as well.
- At the conclusion of the opt-out period and the education campaign, the program launches.