Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about the program and how it will impact you? See below for a list of frequently asked questions and answers. Also, check out the links in the Learn More box to the right.

If you still don’t see what you’re looking for, please feel free to contact Southborough’s program consultants for customer support.

General information

What is the Southborough Community Power Choice Program?

The program is an electricity aggregation, a form of group purchasing in which the Town uses the bulk buying power of the entire community to secure the price that is used to calculate the Supply Services portion of your National Grid electric bill.

Under the program, National Grid will continue to deliver your electricity, but National Grid will no longer be your electricity supplier. Instead Southborough will choose its own electricity supplier.

Southborough has a contract with First Power Power, which will run until December 2024.

The program is offered as a service to the community by the Town. The Town receives no financial compensation from the program.

Someone came to my door/called me about an electricity program. Do they represent National Grid or Southborough's program?

No. If you receive a personal call or visit about your electricity, that person does NOT represent National Grid or the Town of Southborough. Neither National Grid nor the Town is knocking on doors or making individual sales phone calls.

If you receive 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 National Grid or the Town of Southborough.
  • You should treat your National Grid 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 National Grid or the Town of Southborough, please report it to the Department of Public Utilities Consumer Division 617-737-2836, or DPUConsumer.Complaints@state.ma.us.

How do I benefit from Southborough Community Power Choice?

The program offers several potential benefits:

Long-term price stability: The Southborough Community Power Choice price is fixed until December 2024. This makes it different from National Grid’s Basic Service prices, which change seasonally, every 6 months for residential and commercial customers and every 3 months for industrial customers.

Choice: The program gives you two alternatives to National Grid’s Basic Service:

  • Power Choice Standard provides just the minimum amount of renewable electricity required by state law.
  • Power Choice Green provides 100% renewable electricity, all from within New England.

Consumer protections: All program terms are public, there are no hidden fees, and you may leave any time with no penalty or fee.

Potential savings: The program price has the potential to be lower than National Grid’s Basic Service price.  However, National Grid residential and commercial prices change every 6 months, and industrial prices change every 3 months. Future prices are not known. As a result, the program cannot guarantee savings when compared to National Grid’s Basic Service price.

How long will the program last? What will change after December 2024?

Southborough has signed a contract with First Point Power which is in effect until December 2024 meter reads.

At the end of the contract, the Town will go out to bid. If the Town signs a contract with a new electricity supplier, the new prices will be announced, and all active accounts in the program will be automatically enrolled into the new contract.

If the Town chooses not to sign a contract with a new electricity supplier, that decision will be announced and all active accounts in the program will be returned to National Grid’s basic service pricing.

Who do I call if my power goes out?

Call National Grid if your power goes out, as always.

National Grid will continue to read meters, maintain distribution and transmission lines, and provide customer service.

National Grid’s customer service number is 1-800-465-1212.

What will change if I participate in this program?

You will see two changes as a result of participating in the program:

  • On the Supply Services portion of your National Grid electric bill, you will see First Point Power listed as your electricity supplier.
  • The price that National Grid uses to calculate the supplier services piece of your bill will change from National Grid’s Basic Service price to Southborough’s price.

See an example National Grid bill.

Otherwise, everything else will remain the same. You will continue to receive your bill from National Grid, you will continue to pay National Grid, and you will continue to call National Grid when your power goes out.

If you are eligible for any discounts from National Grid, those will be unaffected by your participation in this program.

I am eligible for a low-income discount. Will I continue to receive that discount?

Yes. Your low income discount will not be impacted by your participation in Southborough Community Power Choice.

Is Southborough the only community in Massachusetts with this kind of program?

No. Municipal electricity aggregation has been building momentum across Massachusetts. More than half of the communities in Massachusetts have active or pending municipal electricity aggregation program’s like Southborough’s.

If I participate in Southborough Community Power Choice, will I continue to receive credits on my bill from my solar panels?

Yes. Net metering will work in the same way as before you joined the program. Your net metering credits will continue to appear on your National Grid bill and will continue to be calculated based on National Grid’s Basic Service price.

Electricity supply & electricity suppliers

What is electricity supply?

Electricity service has two parts, delivery and supply. Electricity delivery is the process of bringing electricity to you along wires. Electricity supply is the electricity itself. National Grid is responsible for electricity delivery in Southborough. In addition, National Grid typically chooses the electricity supplier and passes that cost along to customers. This is called National Grid’s Basic Service.

What is an electricity supplier?

An electricity supplier is NOT your utility. An electricity supplier is a company licensed by the Department of Public Utilities to purchase electricity and related services from the wholesale electricity markets for resale to retail customers.

If you or your municipal government signs a contract with an electricity supplier, you are still a National Grid customer, and National Grid will continue to deliver your electricity.

However, when National Grid puts together your electricity bill, they will use your electricity supplier’s price to calculate the supply services charges on your bill instead of their own Basic Service price.

I have signed my own contract with an electricity supplier. Will I be enrolled in the program?

No. If you sign a contract with an electricity supplier immediately after opening your electricity account, you will not automatically be enrolled in the program.

If you would like to participate in the Southborough Community Power Choice program, we recommend that you first check the terms of your existing electricity supply contract. Many include minimum enrollment periods and early termination fees.

When you are ready to enroll, you can enroll online.

Important: If you signed a contract with an electricity supplier and also you received a notification letter in the mail stating that your account will be automatically enrolled in Southborough Community Power Choice,you may have signed your contract after the mailing list was created. In that case, you must opt out of the program to remain in your electricity supply contract. Failure to opt out will likely mean enrollment in Southborough Community Power Choice and could trigger early termination fees from your existing supplier.

Who is the current electricity supplier?

First Point Power is the electricity supplier for Southborough Community Power Choice through December 2024.

Price, savings, & billing

What will my electricity supply price be as a participant in Southborough Community Power Choice?

The program offers two alternatives to National Grid Basic Service. Your price will be determined by which program option you enroll in:

Power Choice Standard is 10.999 ¢/kWh for all customers/rate classes. This is the default option. All new program participants will be automatically enrolled in Power Choice Standard. Like National Grid’s Basic Service, Power Choice Standard meets minimum state requirements for integrating renewable energy.

Power Choice Green is 13.724 ¢/kWh for all customers/rate classes. This choice provides 100% renewable energy, all from premium renewable energy projects in the New England region (MA Class I RECs). You may select Power Choice Green online or by contacting customer support.

Learn how to find the price on your bill.

Will Southborough Community Power Choice save me money?

Possibly. Southborough Community Power Choice does offer the potential for small savings compared with National Grid’s Basic Service price, however, savings cannot be guaranteed.

This is because National Grid’s fixed Basic Service prices change every 6 months for residential and commercial customers and every 3 months for industrial customers, and their future prices are not known.

Please note that any potential savings will impact only the supply services portion of your National Grid bill. National Grid’s delivery charges will not be impacted.

Will I receive a second electricity bill?

No. The program will be integrated into your existing National Grid bill. National Grid will continue to bill you for your electricity, and this is the only electricity bill you will receive as a participant in Southborough Community Power Choice.

See an example National Grid bill.

I am currently eligible for budget billing / the low-income rate from National Grid. Will this change?

No. You will continue to receive those benefits as a participant in Southborough Community Power Choice.

What if National Grid's price falls below the program price?

The program price is fixed for the length of Southborough’s contract with their current electricity supplier. In contrast, National Grid’s prices change every six months or less, depending on what kind of customer you are. As a result, it is very likely that for some months, the program price will be higher than the National Grid price.

The program goal is to beat the average of National Grid’s changing prices over the duration of the electricity supply contract, but savings can never be guaranteed.

You are free to opt out of the program for no penalty or fee. If you choose to opt out, you will be returned to National Grid’s Basic Service.

If you opt out and wish to return to the program, you are not guaranteed the program price and may be charged a market price for the duration of the current contract instead.

Participation

Who is eligible to participate in Southborough Community Power Choice?

All metered electricity customers within the geographic boundaries of Southborough are eligible to join the program. New electricity customers in Southborough will be automatically enrolled a few months after opening their account.

How do I enroll in the program?

New electricity accounts in Southborough on National Grid’s Basic Service will be automatically enrolled in the program within a few months of opening. If your account is eligible for automatic enrollment, you will receive a letter in the mail from the Town explaining the program and your right to opt out before enrollment occurs.

If you will not be automatically enrolled and wish to enroll, please contact customer support at 1-833-272-9591 or using the online form.

Before you terminate an existing contract with an electricity supplier, we recommend that you check the terms of your contract. Many include minimum enrollment periods and early termination fees.

What if I am with another electricity supplier, but I want to participate in Southborough Community Power Choice?

If you have signed an electricity supply contract with another supplier, you are welcome to join the program.

To enroll, you may enroll online or contact customer support at 1-833-272-9591 and ask to join.

However, we recommend that you first carefully check the terms and conditions of your current electricity supplier agreement. Your ability to terminate your agreement with your supplier may be restricted, and you may be charged early termination fees.

How do I choose the Power Choice Green option?

You may choose either option by completing the online form or by contacting customer support.

Is participation required? How do I leave?

No. The automatic enrollment model is in accordance with state law, but participation is not required.

You may opt out of the program at any time with no penalty or fee. If you receive a letter in the mail about automatic enrollment, you may also opt out before being automatically enrolled.

You may opt out online or by contacting customer support.

 

National Grid

I am eligible for budget billing / the low income discount from National Grid. Will that change?

No. If you are eligible for budget billing or for any discounts from National Grid, those will unaffected by your participation in the program.

Will National Grid provide me with a lower quality of service because I participate in this program?

No. National Grid’s quality of service to you will be unaffected by your participation in the program. The reason is because National Grid does not profit from the supplier services part of 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 are indifferent to whether they choose your supplier or you choose your supplier.

Will I be enrolled if I am on National Grid's Do Not Call list?

No. If you have added your name to National Grid’s Do Not Call list, your account will not receive any mailings about the program, and your account will not be automatically enrolled. But you may participate if you wish. To participate, you will need to contact the electricity supplier that the Town selects and ask to be enrolled.

Is my electric utility changing? Does Southborough Community Power Choice replace National Grid?

No. Southborough Community Power Choice does not replace National Grid. National Grid will still be your electricity utility, and your primary relationship for electricity will continue to be with National Grid:

  1. Your electricity bill will continue to come from National Grid.
  2. You will continue to send bill payments to National Grid.
  3. You will continue to call National Grid if your power goes out.
  4. If you are eligible for a low-income delivery rate or fuel assistance, you will continue to receive those benefits.