1. What is the Grafton Energy Choice Program?
National Grid is responsible for electricity delivery in Grafton. In addition, for most electricity customers in Grafton, National Grid typically chooses your electricity supplier and passes the cost of the electricity itself, known as electricity supply, along to you. This is called Basic Service.
The Grafton Energy Choice program is an alternative to Basic Service called electricity aggregation. Electricity aggregation is a form of group purchasing in which a town selects an electricity supplier on behalf of its residents and businesses. The goal is to negotiate the best price possible for everyone for the electricity supply portion of their electric bill, though savings compared to National Grid’s Basic Service price cannot be guaranteed.
Grafton currently has a contract with Direct Energy as the town’s electricity supplier. That contract will end in October 2021. For program participants, National Grid delivers electricity, but the Town’s electricity supplier supplies it, and their company name will appear on National Grid bills.
2. What will my electricity supply price be?
The program offers two options:
- Energy Choice Standard is 10.81 ¢/kWh for all customers/rate classes. This option meets minimum state renewable energy requirements, just like Basic Service. New program participants are automatically enrolled in Energy Choice Standard.
- Energy Choice Green is 11.21 ¢/kWh for all customers/rate classes. This option provides 100% green energy, including 20% renewable energy from new New England renewable energy projects (new means they came into operation after 1997) in addition to the minimum amount required by Massachusetts law. To switch to Energy Choice Green, contact Direct Energy at 1-866-968-8065 or submit your request online.
3. How much will I save?
While the the program offers the potential for savings, savings cannot be guaranteed compared to National Grid’s Basic Service price. This is because the program price is fixed until October 2021 meter reads, while National Grid electricity supply prices change every 6 months for residential and commercial customers and every 3 months for industrial customers. Future Basic Service prices are not known. As a result, it is likely that the program price will not always be below National Grid’s Basic Service price.
4. How long will the program last?
Grafton has signed a 36-month contract with Direct Energy which locks in the program price from October 2018 meter reads through October 2021 meter reads.
At the end of the current contract, Grafton has a choice: The Town can establish a new electricity supply contract or end the program. If the Town establishes a new electricity supply contract, all current program participants will be automatically enrolled into the new contract. If the town ends the program, all participants will be seamlessly returned to National Grid Basic Service.
5. What will change if I participate in this program?
You will see two changes beginning with your first National Grid electric bill after program enrollment:
- Your electricity supply price will change to the program price.
- You will see Town’s current electricity supplier listed instead of Basic Service on the Supplier Services portion of your bill.
Everything else will remain the same. You will continue to receive your bill from National Grid, pay National Grid, and call National Grid when your power goes out.
6. Who is eligible to participate?
All metered electricity customers within the geographic boundaries of Grafton are eligible to participate. New National Grid Basic Service account holders will receive a letter about the program and will be automatically enrolled if they do not choose to opt out.
7. I have signed my own contract with an electricity supplier. How do I participate in the program.
If you have already signed a contract with an electricity supplier, you will not automatically be enrolled in Grafton Energy Choice, but you are welcome to participate.
However, we strongly recommend that you first check the terms of your existing electricity supply contract. Many include minimum enrollment periods and early termination fees.
To enroll, call the program’s current electricity supplier directly and have your National Grid bill available when you call. Visit the customer support page for enrollment information.
8. Do I have to participate?
No. You may choose not to participate. This is called opting out. There is no penalty for opting out. You may do so at any time. If you opt out, you will continue with National Grid Basic Service.
You may opt out online at any time.
9. Who do I call when the power goes out?
Call National Grid if your power goes out, as always. National Grid will continue to deliver your electricity and maintain the poles and wires.
10. Will I receive a second bill?
No. National Grid will continue to bill you for your electricity. This is the only electricity bill you will receive as a participant in Grafton Energy Choice.
11. Will I receive a lower quality of service from National Grid if I participate in this program?
No. National Grid’s quality of service to you will be unaffected by your participation in Grafton Energy Choice. The reason is because National Grid does not profit from the supply charges on your electric bill. They pass the electricity supply charges along to you with no markup. They make their profit from the distribution charges. As a result, they have no preference whether they choose your supplier or Grafton does.
12. What if National Grid’s price falls below the program price?
The program price is fixed until October 2021 meter reads. National Grid Basic Service prices change every six months for residential and commercial customers and every 3 months for industrial customers, and future prices are not known. As a result, it is likely that the program price will not always be below National Grid’s Basic Service price. Savings cannot be guaranteed compared with National Grid’s Basic Service price.
You are always free to opt out of the program and return to National Grid Basic Service.
13. I am currently under National Grid budget billing/eligible for the low-income delivery rate. Will this change?
If you participate in budget billing or are eligible for any discounts from National Grid, those will be unaffected by your participation in Grafton Energy Choice.
14. I have solar panels on my property. If I join the program, will I continue to receive net metering credits?
Yes. Net metering will work the same way if you participate in the program. Your net metering credits from your solar panels will continue to appear on your National Grid bill and will continue to be calculated based on National Grid’s Basic Service price.
I have a tax-exempt account. How do I ensure my tax exempt status in Grafton Energy Choice?
Direct Energy is required to have tax exemption documentation on file for every electricity account that participates in Grafton Energy Choice and has tax exempt status. Without that documentation on file, Direct Energy may be required to charge tax on the account. They cannot obtain that documentation from Eversource. They must obtain it from each customer directly.
If your account has tax exempt status, please submit your tax exemption documentation to Direct Energy via one of the methods below.
Direct Energy has established a dedicated/secure fax number to receive your completed exemption certificate at 1-800-504-7428.
If you prefer to email your tax-exempt certificate, please send it to AggregationSupport@directenergy.com.
Via U.S. Mail
If you prefer to mail your certificate, please send it to:
P.O. Box 180
Tulsa, OK 74101-0180
Attn: USN Tax Exemption Dept.
15. Is Grafton the only community in Massachusetts creating this kind of program?
No. Municipal electricity aggregation has been building momentum across Massachusetts. More than 140 other Massachusetts communities also have active aggregations.