Program implementation process

Implementing a municipal electricity aggregation program like Beverly Community Electric is a regulated process that is overseen by the the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU). The implementation process can take as long as a year to complete, because the regulatory review and approval process typically requires many months. The list below includes key milestones in the program implementation process.

1. City Council vote

Beverly had to vote publicly to pursue aggregation.

  • The Beverly City Council vote occurred on July 7, 2020.

2. Public review and comment

In order to obtain the necessary regulatory approval to launch Beverly Community Electric, the City must first create an Aggregation Plan and make it available for public review and comment. The Aggregation Plan is a high-level authorization document that lays out the program structure and demonstrates how Beverly will meet regulatory requirements.

  • Beverly’s aggregation plan was presented to the public on January 20, 2021, and made available for a 3-week public review and comment period.

3. Regulatory review and approval

Beverly must submit its Aggregation Plan to the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) for review and then to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) for approval before the program can launch. This regulatory review process typically takes many months and can take as long as a year to complete.

  • Beverly’s aggregation plan was reviewed by the Massachusetts DOER on February 16, 2021.
  • Beverly’s aggregation plan was submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities on March 17, 2021, and the DPU held a hearing to accept public comments on the plan on July 20, 2021.

4. Choosing an electricity supplier and signing an electricity supply contract

Once the regulatory review process is complete and Beverly’s Aggregation Plan has received formal approval from the DPU, Beverly will implement a public procurement process to select and sign a contract with an electricity supplier. During this process, program details will be finalized, including the amount of renewable energy in any program options and the price for each option.

5. Public notification and education

After the electricity supply contract is signed, Beverly will conduct a public engagement effort to inform the community about program details like price, and renewable energy This effort will include public information sessions. In addition, a formal notification letter will be sent from the City to each electricity account holder who is eligible for automatic enrollment in the program. The letter will include information about program options and prices and how to opt out if you do not want to participate.

6. Program launch

At the conclusion of that public education effort, Beverly Community Electric will launch. Any account on National Grid’s Basic Service will be automatically enrolled in the program, unless they choose to opt out. (Automatic enrollment is the state law.) Any electricity customer who has an electricity supply contract at this time will not be automatically enrolled but will be able to enroll quickly and easily if they wish.

Beverly is targeting early 2022 for program launch, depending on the duration of the State regulatory review and approval process.