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 Eversource uses to calculate the Supply charge piece of your electricity bill. In addition, aggregation can increase the amount of renewable energy in your electricity supply. But electricity aggregation does not replace Eversource as your electric utility.

Here’s how it works:

Without the Cambridge Community Electricity Program

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

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

Electricity delivery

Eversource’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 part of your Eversource electricity bill.

Electricity supply

For most people, Eversource also provides a second service, which is as an electricity supplier. They purchase electricity on your behalf and charge you on the supply  part of your Eversource electricity bill for the amount you use. When Eversource is your electricity supplier, you have Eversource’s Basic Service. When you first open your electricity account, you are placed on Eversource’s Basic Service.

The diagram below shows Eversource both delivering and supplying electricity.

Eversource’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 the Cambridge Community Electricity Program

In an electricity aggregation like the Cambridge Community Electricity program, Eversource continues to deliver your electricity and you continue to call them when the power goes out, but you no longer have Eversource’s Basic Service for the supply portion of your electricity bill.  Instead, the City of Cambridge 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 and renewable energy content of the community’s electricity supply. If you participate in the Cambridge Community Electricity Program, Eversource uses the Cambridge Community Electricity Program price to calculate the supply portion of your electricity bill instead of their own Basic Service price.

The Cambridge Community Electricity Program price is a fixed long-term price that does not change seasonally.

What changes with the program

If you participate, you will see two changes on your Eversource electricity bill beginning the month after you enroll:

  1. The City’s electricity supplier, Direct Energy, will be listed on your bill as your electricity supplier
  2. Eversource will use the Cambridge Community Electricity Program price to calculate the supply charge portion of your electricity bill instead of their own Basic Service price.

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

  • You will continue to receive one bill from Eversource. This is the only electricity bill you will receive as a participant in the Cambridge Community Electricity Program.
  • You will continue to call Eversource if your power goes out. Eversource will continue to deliver electricity, restore electricity service after a power outage, and maintain the poles and wires.
  • If you receive net metering credits from solar panels on your Eversource bill, those will continue to be calculated using Eversource’s Basic Service price, not using the Cambridge Community Electricity Program price.
  • If you are eligible for a low-income discount, you will continue to receive that discount.

Participating in the program

All new electricity customers in Cambridge will be automatically enrolled in the Cambridge Community Electricity program within a few months of opening the account. Automatic enrollment is state law.

You will receive a notification in mail from the City before being automatically enrolled with information about the program. If you do not wish to participate, you may opt out before being automatically enrolled or any time after enrollment, with no penalty. If you choose to opt out, Eversource will continue to be your electricity supplier, and Eversource will use their own Basic Service price to calculate the supply portion of your electricity bill.

Learn how to enroll if you will not be automatically enrolled.