How aggregation works
Municipal electricity aggregation is a form of group electricity purchasing. Electricity aggregation replaces your electricity supplier, and it changes the price that your electric utility (National Grid or Eversource) uses to calculate the supply charges on your electricity bill. In addition, aggregation can increase the amount of renewable energy in your electricity supply. But electricity aggregation does not replace National Grid or Eversource as your electric utility.
Here’s how it works:
Without Bellingham Power Choice
(Unless you already have a contract with an electricity supplier)
Typically, your electric utility (National Grid or Eversource) provides two services to you as an electricity customer, and your electricity bill includes charges for both of these services:
|Your utility’s primary role is as an electricity delivery company. They deliver electricity to you, maintain the poles and wires, and address power outages. They charge you for these services in the delivery charges on your electricity bill.|
|Your utility can also provide a second service, which is as an electricity supplier. They purchase electricity on your behalf and charge you in the supply charges on your electricity bill for the amount you use. When your electric utility, National Grid or Eversource, is your electricity supplier, you have what’s called Basic Service. When you first open your electricity account, you are placed on Basic Service.|
Your utility’s fixed Basic Service prices change seasonally, every 6 months for residential and commercial customers and every 3 months for industrial customers, and their future prices are not known.
With Bellingham Power Choice
In an electricity aggregation like Bellingham Power Choice, your electric utility, National Grid or Eversource, continues to deliver your electricity and you continue to call them when the power goes out, but you no longer have their Basic Service for the supply portion of your electricity bill. Instead, the Town of Bellingham uses the group purchasing power of the community to negotiate a contract with an electricity supplier on behalf of residents and businesses and to determine the price of the community’s electricity supply and whether any additional renewable electricity is included. If you participate in Bellingham Power Choice, National Grid and Eversource use the Bellingham Power Choice price to calculate the supply charges on your electricity bill instead of their own Basic Service price.
The Bellingham Power Choice price is a fixed long-term price that does not change seasonally.