General program information
What is the Natick Electricity Aggregation Program?
The Natick Electricity Aggregation Program is a municipal electricity aggregation, 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 Eversource 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 Eversource bill as Supply charges.
But in Massachusetts, there are actually three ways to purchase your electricity:
- Your utility, Eversource, can do it for you, as just described. This is called Basic Service, and this is how most people buy their electricity.
- 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 the Natick Electricity Aggregation Program is. Natick has signed a contract with Direct Energy.
If you participate in the Natick Electricity Aggregation Program, Eversource delivers your electricity, but Direct Energy appears on your Eversource bill as your electricity supplier. Eversource will use the Natick Electricity Aggregation price to calculate the Supply charges on your Eversource electricity bill instead their own Basic Service price.
The Natick Electricity Aggregation Program provides an alternative both to Eversource’s Basic Service pricing and to other electricity supply offers in the marketplace.
Someone came to my door/called me about an electricity program. Do they represent Eversource or the Natick Electricity Aggregation Program?
No. If you receive a personal call or visit about your electricity, that person does not represent the Town of Natick, Eversource, or the Natick Electricity Aggregation Program. Neither Eversource nor the Town is knocking on doors or making individual sales phone calls. Any communication is done by mail and will bear the Town seal.
If you receive a call or a visit from someone who wants to discuss your electricity, here are three things to keep in mind:
- The person you are speaking with is not associated with Eversource, the Town of Natick, or the Natick Electricity Aggregation Program.
- You should treat your Eversource 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 Natick, please report it to the Department of Public Utilities Consumer Division 617-737-2836, or DPUConsumer.Complaints@state.ma.us.
What is the minimum amount of renewable energy in electricity required by state law?
The minimum amount increases every year.
For 2021, Massachusetts state law requires that all electricity suppliers must include a minimum of 18% from newer renewable energy projects located in New England.
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 100% renewable electricity?
The 100% Green option purchases renewable electricity to match 100% of your electricity use, all from renewable energy projects in New England.
Choosing this option means making the most significant contribution possible in the program to sustainability and to the New England economy.
Every time you pay your electric bill, you will make a strong investment in:
- Reducing Natick’s greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the amount of renewable energy used to generate electricity. 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.
- Encouraging the development of additional local renewable energy projects by creating additional demand for the electricity generated by those projects.
- Supporting local businesses and local jobs by buying electricity from New England-based projects.
How do I know if I'm enrolled in the program and which option I have?
Check your most recently Eversource bill. If you are enrolled in the Natick Electricity Aggregation Program, your electricity supplier will be listed as “Direct Energy Natick Aggregation.”
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.
If you are enrolled in the 100% Green option, the price will be $0.14422/kWh (14.422 cents/kWh).
If you are enrolled in the Standard Green offering (the default program offering), the price will be $0.11551/kWh (11.551 cents/kWh).
If you are enrolled in the Natick Basic/Brown option, the price will be $0.10938/kWh (10.938 cents/kWh).
How long will the program last?
Natick’s current contract is with Direct Energy. The contract price will be in effect until December 2022 meter reads. Natick can then establish a contract with a new electricity supplier or end the program and return participants to Basic Service. If Natick does establish a contract with a new electricity supplier, the Town will announce the new price, and program participants will remain enrolled under the new contract.
Who do I call when the power goes out?
Call Eversource if your power goes out. Eversource will deliver your electricity and maintain the poles and wires.
My organization is tax exempt. How do I maintain tax-exempt status in the program?
Direct Energy is required to have tax exemption documentation on file for every electricity account that participates in the Natick Electricity Aggregation Program 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. Visit the Tax-exempt accounts page for information on where to send your documentation.
Electricity supply and 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 Eversource’s Basic Service, Eversource chooses your electricity supplier and delivers the electricity to you. With the Natick Electricity Aggregation Program, Eversource will continue to deliver your electricity, but Natick 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 the Natick Electricity Aggregation Program, Eversource 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?
Direct Energy is the current electricity supplier.
Price, savings, and billing
Where do I see this program on my Eversource electricity bill?
The Natick Electricity Aggregation Program appears on your Eversource electricity bill in two ways:
- On the Supply portion of your Eversource electricity bill, you will see Direct Energy listed as your electricity supplier instead of Eversource.
- The price that is used to calculate the Supply portion of your Eversource bill will be the Natick Electricity Aggregation Program price instead of Eversource’s Basic Service price.
Additionally, the amount of renewable energy purchased on your behalf may change, depending on which program option you choose.
Otherwise, you will receive your bill from Eversource, you will pay Eversource, and you will call Eversource if your power goes out.
If you are eligible for any discounts from Eversource, those will be unaffected by your participation in this program.
What will my electricity supply price be?
The Natick Electricity Aggregation Program offers three options. Your price will be determined by which option you are enrolled in:
- Standard Green: 11.551 ¢/kWh for all customers. Standard Green is the default program offering. New electricity accounts in Natick are automatically enrolled in Standard Green, but you may then choose one of the other options or opt out.
- 100% Green: 14.422 ¢/kWh for all customers.
- Natick Basic/Brown: 10.938 ¢/kWh for all customers.
Learn more about program options and prices.
The program provides a stable electricity price. Why is that important?
The Natick Electricity Aggregation Program price is fixed until December 2022. Having a stable price for the supply part of your Eversource electricity bill can protect you from the seasonal price increases that occur when you have Eversource’s Basic Service. When Eversource is your electricity supplier, the price that is used to calculate the supply charges on your Eversource bill changes every 6 months for residential and other small customers, and it changes more frequently for larger commercial customers.
Having a stable price for the supply part of your Eversource electricity bill 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.
When the Town signs a new electricity supply contract and the price changes, the Town will announce the new price publicly before it takes effect.
Are savings compared to Eversource's Basic Service guaranteed?
No. The Natick Electricity Aggregation Program price is fixed until December 2022. Eversource’s Basic Service price changes every 6 months for residential and other small customers, and it changes more frequently for larger commercial customers. Future prices are not known. As a result, savings cannot be guaranteed.
Will I receive a second bill?
No. Your primary relationship will be with Eversource, and Eversource will bill you for your electricity. This is the only electricity bill you will receive as a participant in the Natick Electricity Aggregation Program.
What if Eversource's Basic Service price falls below the Natick Electricity Aggregation price?
The Natick Electricity Aggregation price is a fixed, long-term price. In contrast, Eversource’s Basic Service prices change every 6 months for residential and small business customers, and every 3 months for medium and large business customers. As a result, it is typical that for some months in the year, the Eversource price will fall below the price of the Natick Electricity Aggregation Program price.
The Natick Electricity Aggregation Program offers the potential for savings compared with the average of Eversource’s changing prices, but it cannot guarantee that it will beat Eversource’s Basic Service price.
Program participants are free to opt out at any time and return to Eversource’s Basic Service.
I am eligible for a low-income discount. Will this change?
No. If you are eligible for a low-income discount, you will receive that discount within the Natick Electricity Aggregation Program.
I have solar panels or I participate in a community solar program. Will I continue receiving credits on my bill if I participate in the Natick Electricity Aggregation Program?
Yes, you will continue to receive credits on you bill, and they will continue to be calculated in the same way with no change.
How do I join the program?
You may already be enrolled. All new electricity customers in Natick are automatically enrolled in the Natick Electricity Aggregation Program, in Standard Green, unless they choose another option or opt out. Check your bill to see if your supplier is Direct Energy and if the price used to calculate the Supply part of your bill matches one of the program prices.
However, if you left the program previously and want to re-enroll, or you were never enrolled, you can. Learn more about enrollment.
Who is eligible to participate?
All metered electricity customers within the geographic boundaries of Natick are eligible to participate. All new electricity accounts in Natick are automatically enrolled.
I have signed my own contract with an electricity supplier. Can I enroll in the program?
Yes. If you would like 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.
If you decide you would like to enroll, you can enroll online or by contacting customer support.
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 be placed on Eversource’s Basic Service. You may opt out online, or by contacting customer support.
How do I choose 100% Green or Natick Basic/Brown?
What is the difference between Eversource and an electricity supplier?
Eversource is Natick’s electric utility. They are your electricity delivery company. That means Eversource is responsible 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. Eversource does not generate electricity.
An electricity supplier is a company that buys electricity for you from electricity generators or from electricity brokers. An electricity supplier does not replace Eversource as your electric utility. They supply the electricity that Eversource delivers to you.
- For most electricity customers, their utility is also their electricity supplier. When they are your supplier (i.e., when you are on Eversource’s Basic Service), your electricity bill will indicate that is the case with the words “basic service.”
- You may also choose your own electricity supplier. If you do, the name of that company will appear on your Eversource bill as your electricity supplier, and the price you negotiated with them will be used to calculate the Supply charges on your bill.
- In the Natick Electricity Aggregation Program, the Town chooses an electricity supplier on your behalf. Natick has signed a contract with Direct Energy to supply electricity to the Town. Direct Energy will appear on your Eversource 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.
Will I receive a lower quality of service from Eversource because I participate in this program?
No. Eversource’s quality of service will not be affected by your participation in the Natick Electricity Aggregation Program. Eversource does not profit from the supply charges on your electric bill. They make their profit from delivery charges. As a result, they have no preference whether they are your supplier or Natick chooses your supplier.
I have Eversource's budget billing. Will this change?
Yes. Budget billing is not available within the program. If you wish to retain budget billing, you should opt out of the program and be placed on Eversource’s Basic Service.