General program information
What is Lincoln Green Energy Choice?
Lincoln Green Energy Choice is a municipal electricity aggregation, which is a form of group electricity purchasing.
Typically, your electric utility, Eversource, provides two sets of services to you:
- They deliver your electricity (Massachusetts electric utilities are electricity delivery companies only). Delivery services appear on your electricity bill as delivery charges.
- They also supply your electricity, which means they buy electricity for you and pass the cost along to you. The cost of the electricity they buy for you appears on your electricity bill as supply charges.
But in Massachusetts, there are actually three ways to purchase your electricity:
- Your utility can do it for you, as just described. This is called Basic Service, and this is how you buy your electricity when you first open your account.
- You can sign a contract with an electricity supplier yourself. You may have received offers in the mail or over the phone.
- Your municipal government can sign a contract with an electricity supplier on your behalf. This third option is municipal electricity aggregation, and this is what Lincoln Green Energy Choice is.
If you participate in Lincoln Green Energy Choice, Eversource will continue to delivery your electricity, but First Point Power will appear on your electricity bill as your electricity supplier. Eversource will use the Lincoln Green Energy Choice price to calculate the supply charges on your electricity bill instead their own Basic Service price.
What is a municipal electricity aggregation?
A municipal electricity aggregation, such as Lincoln Green Energy Choice, is a group purchasing program for electricity.
In an aggregation, the Town uses the bulk purchasing power of the entire community to select an electricity supplier and to negotiate both the amount of renewable energy in the electricity and the price.
If you participate in the program, your electric utility, Eversource, will continue to deliver your electricity, but:
- The company chosen by the Town, First Point Power, will appear on your existing electricity bill as your electricity supplier
- Eversource will use a Lincoln Green Energy Choice price to calculate the Supply charges on your electricity bill instead of their own Basic Service price.
Why is Lincoln launching this program?
The primary goal of Lincoln Green Energy Choice is to increase the amount of renewable energy in Lincoln’s electricity supply.
Massachusetts state law already requires that a minimum amount of renewable energy be included in all the electricity sold in the state. The standard level of renewable electricity for Lincoln Green Energy Choice includes an additional 27% over and above that state-required minimum amount.
In addition to the standard offering, the program provides clean, electricity options, such as the ability to choose 100% renewable energy or to choose just 2% over the state-required minimum amount.
Someone came to my door/called me about an electricity program. Do they represent the Town of Lincoln or Eversource?
No. If you receive a personal call or visit about your electricity, that person does NOT represent the Town of Lincoln or Eversource, even if they say they do. Neither the Town nor Eversource will knock on doors or make individual sales phone calls. Any communication will be done by mail and will bear the Town seal or the Eversource logo.
If you receive a call or a visit from someone who wants to discuss your electricity, here are two things to keep in mind:
- You should treat your electricity account number like you treat your credit card information. Do not give it out unless you want to purchase your electricity from someone else.
- You do have the right to select an electricity supplier of your choice. If you choose to explore this option, please check the terms of the agreement carefully. Things to check for include: minimum bill amounts, contract length requirements, early termination fees, low introductory rates that change after the introductory period ends, and rates that vary.
If you feel a sales person has fraudulently identified themselves as working for Eversource or the Town of Lincoln, please report it to the Department of Public Utilities Consumer Division 617-737-2836, or DPUConsumer.Complaints@state.ma.us.
How long with the program last?
As long as Lincoln decides it is providing value.
The contract with First Point Power runs through January 2023 meter reads. When that contract ends, Lincoln can either sign a new electricity supply contract and extend the program, or end the program. While the Town’s intention is to continue the program, if the Town decides to end the program, the Town will make an announcement, and all active participants will be seamlessly transitioned to back to Eversource’s Basic Service offering.
Who do I call when the power goes out?
Call your electric utility, Eversource, as always. Eversource will continue to deliver your electricity and maintain the poles and wires.
I have a tax exempt account. How can I retain my account's tax-exempt status, and where do I send my tax exemption documentation?
First Point Power is required to have tax exemption documentation on file for every electricity account that participates in Lincoln Green Energy Choice and has tax-exempt status. Without that documentation on file, First Point Power 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 First Point Power. Visit the Tax-exempt accounts page for information on where to send your documentation.
Is Lincoln the only community in Massachusetts with this kind of program?
No. Nearly half of the cities and towns in Massachusetts have electricity aggregation programs like Lincoln Green Energy Choice.
Electricity supply & electricity suppliers
What is electricity supply?
Electricity service has two parts: supply and delivery. Supply refers to the electricity itself. Delivery is the process of bringing that electricity to you over the wires.
With Basic Service, your electric utility (Eversource in Lincoln) is your electricity supplier and also delivers the electricity to you.
With Lincoln Green Energy Choice, your electric utility will continue to deliver your electricity, but Lincoln chooses its own supplier.
What is a competitive electricity supplier?
A competitive electricity supplier is not your electric utility. Electricity suppliers do not deliver your electricity. They buy it for you, and your electric utility delivers it.
A competitive electricity supplier is a company licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to purchase electricity and related services from the wholesale electricity markets for resale to retail electricity customers.
If you sign a private contract with an electricity supplier or you participate in a municipal program like Lincoln Green Energy Choice, your electric utility (Eversource in Lincoln) will use your electricity supplier’s price to calculate the supply charges on your electricity bill instead of their own Basic Service price.
Who is the program's current electricity supplier?
The program’s electricity supplier is First Point Power.
Price, potential savings, & billing
What will my electricity supply price be if I participate in Lincoln Green Energy Choice?
Your price will be determined by which program option you are enrolled in. Lincoln Green Energy Choice has three options.
Lincoln Standard Green is the default, which means it is the option you will be enrolled if you don’t choose one of the others. Lincoln Standard Green provides an additional 27% of your electricity from clean, renewable sources like the sun and the wind, over and above the minimum amount required by state law, and those sources are based in New England (MA Class I RECs). The Lincoln Standard Green price is 11.725 cents/kWh.
Lincoln 100% Green provides electricity that is 100% from clean, renewable sources in New England (100% MA Class I RECs) for 14.043 cents/kWh.
Lincoln Basic provides only the minimum amount of renewable electricity from New England required by state law, which is 18% in 2021 and 20% in 2022 for 10.651 cents/kWh.
Learn more about program options and prices.
How much will I save? Are savings guaranteed?
While the program has the potential offer a lower price than Eversource’s Basic Service price, savings cannot be predicted or guaranteed.
This is because Eversource’s Basic Service prices change every six months for residential and small business/commercial customers and every three months for large business/industrial customers, and their future prices are not known.
Will I receive a second electricity bill?
No. Your electric utility (Eversource in Lincoln) will continue to bill you for your electricity. This is the only electricity bill you will receive as a participant in Lincoln Green Energy Choice. The program is integrated into your existing electricity bill.
What if Eversource's price falls below the Lincoln Green Energy Choice price?
This is normal. Eversource’s Basic Service prices change every six months or less, depending on what kind of customer you are, while the Lincoln Green Energy Choice price is fixed until January 2023. As a result, it is likely that for some months, Eversource’s Basic Service price will fall below the Lincoln Green Energy Choice price. Typically, this happens during the summer months, but it could happen anytime.
If you ever wish to leave the program, you are free to opt out of the program and return to Eversource’s Basic Service at any time with no penalty or fee.
I have solar panels on my property or I participate in a community solar program. If I join Lincoln Green Energy Choice, will I continue to receive credits on my bill?
Yes. You will continue to receive credits on your bill, and they will continue to be calculated in the same way they are calculated now with no change. Specifically, the credits are calculated based on the Eversource basic service price. A participant in the Lincoln program will have their supply charges based on the program option rate chosen, and their credits calculated on the Eversource basic service price.
Where will I see Lincoln Green Energy Choice on my electricity bill?
Lincoln Green Energy Choice appears on your electricity bill in two ways:
- On the supply charge portion of your electricity bill, you will see First Point Power listed as your electricity supplier instead of Eversource’s Basic Service.
- The price that Eversource uses to calculate your supply charges will be a Lincoln Green Energy Choice price instead of their own Basic Service price.
The program provides a stable electricity supply price. Why is that important?
Having a stable price for the supply part of your electricity bill can protect you from the seasonal price increases that occur when you have Eversource’s Basic Service price. When Eversource is your electricity supplier and you have their Basic Service, the price they use to calculate the supply charges on your bill changes every 6 months for residential and small business/commercial customers, and it changes more frequently for large business/industrial customers.
Having a stable price can also provide a predictable alternative to the variable prices offered by some commercial electricity supply offers. Some commercial electricity supply offers will provide a stable price for a few months, but then the price will vary monthly.
How do I join the program?
Electricity accounts with Eversource’s Basic Service will be automatically enrolled in the program in the Lincoln Standard Green offering, unless they opt out or choose a different option. If your account is eligible for automatic enrollment, you will receive a letter in the mail in January.
If you already have your own contract with an electricity supplier at the time of program launch (in other words, if you are not on Eversource’s Basic Service), you will not be automatically enrolled in the program. However, you may enroll in the program if you wish. Learn how to enroll.
How do I know if I'm enrolled in the program and which option I'm enrolled in?
If you are enrolled in Lincoln Green Energy Choice, your electricity supplier will be listed as First Point Power on your bill.
To check which program option you are enrolled in, look at the price that is used to calculate the supply charge portion of your bill. Compare it to the Lincoln Green Energy Choice prices.
(Remember that your bill presents prices in dollars per kWh, while most other informational resources present the prices in cents per kWh. You will likely need to move the decimal two places to the left or the right to match the prices).
Who is eligible to participate in Lincoln Green Energy Choice?
All metered electricity customers within the geographic boundaries of Lincoln are eligible to participate. All Lincoln electricity customers that have Eversource’s Basic Service, and who have not placed an enrollment block on their account, will be automatically enrolled with their March 2021 meter read.
I have signed my own contract with an electricity supplier. Can I participate?
Yes. If you have already signed a contract with an electricity supplier, you will not automatically be enrolled in the program, but you are invited to participate.
We recommend that you first check the terms of your existing electricity supply contract. Many include minimum enrollment periods and early termination fees.
Learn more about enrolling.
Do I have to participate? Can I leave the program?
You may choose not to participate, and you may leave the program after you join. 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 be placed on Eversource’s Basic Service pricing.
You may opt out at any time online or by contacting customer support.
How do I opt up to Lincoln 100% Green or opt down to Lincoln Basic?
Does this program replace Eversource as my electric utility?
No. If you participate in Lincoln Green Energy choice, Eversource will remain your electric utility. They will continue to deliver your electricity, and your primary relationship for electricity will remain with them.
Lincoln Green Energy Choice changes only the supplier on your Eversource bill, and it will change the price that Eversource uses to calculate the supply charge portion of your electricity bill. But your primary relationship for electricity will remain with Eversource, and your bill will continue to come from Eversource as it does now.
Will I receive a lower quality of electricity service from Eversource if I participate in Lincoln Green Energy Choice?
No. The quality of service to you will be unaffected by your participation in Lincoln Green Energy Choice. The reason is because Eversource 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 delivery charges. As a result, they have no preference whether they choose your electricity supplier or Lincoln does.
I have budget billing with Eversource. Will this change?
Yes. You will lose budget billing on the supply charge portion of your bill as a participant in Lincoln Green Energy Choice, but budget billing will continue on your delivery charges. If retaining budget billing for your entire bill is important to you, you may wish to opt out of the program.
I'm eligible for a low-income discount on my electricity bill. Will this change?
No. You will continue to receive your low-income discount as a participant in Lincoln Green Energy Choice.
What's the difference between Eversource and an electricity supplier?
An electric utility like Eversource is responsible primarily for delivering electricity to you, for maintaining the poles and wires, and for addressing power outages. Eversource charges you for these services on the delivery portion of your electricity bill.
An electricity supplier is a company that buys electricity for you from electricity generators or from electricity brokers. An electricity supplier can be a utility like Eversource, or it can be a third-party company. If your supplier is a third-party company, it does not replace Eversource as your electric utility.
- When Eversource is also your electricity supplier (i.e., when you have Basic Service), your electricity bill will indicate that is the case.
- You may also choose your own electricity supplier. If you do, the name of that company will appear on your electricity bill as your electricity supplier, and the price you negotiated with them will be used to calculate the supply charges on your bill.
- In Lincoln Green Energy Choice, the Town chooses an electricity supplier on your behalf. Lincoln has signed a contract with First Point Power to supply electricity to the Town. First Point Power will appear on your electricity bill as your electricity supplier, and Eversource will use the price the Town has secured from with them to calculate the supply charges on your bill.
What is the minimum amount of renewable electricity required by state law?
The minimum amount increases every year. For 2021, Massachusetts state law requires that renewable electricity must be purchased from renewable energy projects in New England to match 18% of your electricity use.
In addition, state law requires the purchase of a minimum amount of renewable energy from older renewable energy projects in New England, as well as from some other energy sources that are considered highly efficient but not renewable.
For more information, visit the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources page on compliance information for the Renewable Portfolio Standard.
Why should I opt up to Lincoln 100% Green and receive 100% renewable electricity from New England?
When you choose the Lincoln 100% Green option, 100% of your electricity will be generated by clean, renewable sources from New England (MA Class I RECs).
Choosing this option means making a significant commitment to sustainability and to the New England economy.
Every time you pay your electricity bill, you will take a significant step toward:
- Addressing climate change and improving local air quality by limiting greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants created from generating electricity with fossil fuels. Electricity generated from renewable sources, such as the sun and wind, does not create the greenhouse gases that cause climate change and does not pollute the air.
- Helping to drive the development of new New England-based renewable energy projects by creating additional demand for the electricity generated by those projects.
- Supporting local businesses and local jobs by buying all of your electricity from New England-based renewable energy projects.
Opt up to Lincoln Green Energy Choice.