How aggregation works

Municipal electricity aggregation is a form of group electricity purchasing. An electricity aggregation program like Beverly Community Electric replaces your electricity supplier, and it changes the price that National Grid uses to calculate the supply services charge 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 as your electric utility.

Here’s how it works:

Without Beverly Community Electric

(Unless you already have a contract with an electricity supplier)

Typically, National Grid provides two services to you as an electricity customer, and your electricity bill includes charges for both of these services:

Electricity delivery

National Grid’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 on the delivery services part of your National Grid electricity bill.

Electricity supply

National Grid can also provide a second service, which is to be your electricity supplier. They purchase electricity on your behalf and charge you on the supply services part of your National Grid electricity bill for the amount you use. When National Grid is your electricity supplier, you have National Grid’s Basic Service, and this is the default when you open your electricity account.

The diagram below shows National Grid both delivering and supplying electricity.

National Grid’s fixed Basic Service prices change seasonally, every 6 months for residential and small business customers and every 3 months for large business customers, and future prices are not known.

With Beverly Community Electric

In an electricity aggregation like Beverly Community Electric, National Grid continues to deliver your electricity and you continue to call them when the power goes out, but you no longer have National Grid’s Basic Service for the supply portion of your electricity bill. Instead, the City of Beverly uses the bulk 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 Beverly Community Electric, National Grid uses the Beverly Community Electric price to calculate the supply portion of your electricity bill instead of their own Basic Service price.

The diagram below illustrates how Beverly Community Electric will work. The only change is the electricity supplier on the left. Otherwise, the relationship between National Grid and electricity customers in Beverly does not change, and your electricity flows without interruption:

What changes on your electricity bill

If you participate, you will see just two changes on your National Grid electricity bill:


1. The electricity supplier for Beverly Community Electric will be listed on your bill as your electricity supplier

2. National Grid will use a Beverly Community Electric price to calculate the supply services portion of your electricity bill instead of their own Basic Service price.

Otherwise, your primary relationship for electricity will remain with National Grid. This means:

  • You will continue to receive one electricity bill from National Grid. This is the only electricity bill you will receive as a participant in Beverly Community Electric.
  • You will continue to call National Grid if your power goes out. National Grid will continue to deliver electricity, restore electricity service after a power outage, and maintain the poles and wires.
  • If you receive credits from solar panels or community solar on your National Grid electricity bill, you will continue to receive them. In addition, those credits will continue to be calculated the same way they are now, using National Grid’s Basic Service price, not using a Beverly Community Electric price.
  • If you are eligible for a low-income discount, you will continue to receive that discount.

Participating in the program

All Beverly electricity customers that have National Grid’s Basic Service, meaning electricity customers that have not signed their own contract with an electricity supplier, will be automatically enrolled in Beverly Community Electric when the program launches. 

This means most electricity customers in Beverly will be enrolled in Beverly Community Electric. If your account is eligible for automatic enrollment, you will receive a notification in the mail from the City of Beverly before it happens with program details, including prices.

The automatic enrollment model is state law, but you do not have to participate if you do not want to. You will be able to opt out before the program launches, or you can try the program out and then opt out later with no fee or penalty. If you choose to opt out, National Grid will continue to be your electricity supplier and will continue to use their own Basic Service price to calculate the supply portion of your electricity bill.

If you have already signed a contract with an electricity supplier at the time Beverly Community Electric launches, your account will not be automatically enrolled. However, you may choose to participate, and enrolling will be an easy process.

More information will be available after the program receives regulatory approval.