What is the Walpole 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 negotiate a price for the Supplier Services portion of your Eversource electric bill.
Under the program, Eversource continues to deliver your electricity, but Eversource is no longer your electricity supplier. Instead the Town chooses its own electricity supplier.
To launch the program, Town has signed an 23-month contract with NextEra Energy to deliver electricity from January 2019 through December 2020.
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. Eversource is responsible for electricity delivery in Walpole. In addition, Eversource typically chooses the electricity supplier and passes that cost along to customers. This is called Eversource Basic Service.
Within Walpole Power Choice, Eversource continues to deliver the electricity but is no longer your electricity supplier. Instead, Walpole chooses an electricity supplier for Town residents and businesses through a competitive bid process.
What will my electricity supply price be?
The program offers two alternatives to Eversource’s Basic Service:
Power Choice Standard is 11.581 ¢/kWh for all customers/rate classes. This is the default option. All new program participants will be automatically enrolled in Power Choice Standard. Like Eversource Basic Service, Power Choice Standard meets minimum state requirements for integrating renewable energy.
Power Choice Green is 11.887 ¢/kWh for all customers/rate classes. This choice provides 100% green energy, including 20% from renewable energy projects in New England, in addition to the minimum required by the state. To choose Power Choice Green, please contact customer support.
How much money will I save? Are savings guaranteed?
While the program strives to provide savings, savings cannot be predicted or guaranteed. The program price is fixed until December 2020, while Eversource Basic Service prices change twice a year or more, depending on rate class. As a result, the program price may not always be below the Eversource Basic Service price. The program aims to deliver savings when compared with the average of Eversource’s changing Basic Service prices.
Please note that any savings will apply only to the supplier services portion of your Evesource electricity bill. Delivery charges will be unaffected by the Walpole Power Choice program.
How long will the program last? What will change after January 2019?
Walpole has signed a contract with NextEra Energy, which is in effect from January 2019 meter reads until December 2020 meter reads. At that point, Walpole can establish a new electricity supply contract or end the program and return participants to Eversource’s Basic Service.
What will change with this program?
You will see two changes as a result of participating in the program:
- On the Supplier Services portion of your Eversource electricity bill, you will see NextEra Energy listed instead of Eversource’s Basic Service.
- The rate that you are charged for supplier services will change from the Basic Service rate to the program rate.
Otherwise, everything else will remain the same. You will continue to receive your bill from Eversource, you will continue to pay Eversource, and you will continue to call Eversource when your power goes out.
If you are eligible for any discounts from Eversource, those will be unaffected by your participation in this program.
How do I join the program?
Accounts on Eversource’s Basic Service will be automatically enrolled in the program.
If you already have an agreement with an electricity supplier, you will not be automatically enrolled in the program. However, you can join the program. Contact customer support for more information about enrolling.
- If you wish to wait until the end of your current electricity supply contract and then join the program, you may do so. You will receive the program price whenever you join.
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.
Do I have to participate?
You do not have to participate and can opt out. There is no penalty for opting out. You may do so at any time. If you opt out, the supply portion of your bill will remain on Eversource’s Basic Service rate.
I have signed my own contract with an electricity supplier. Can I participate?
If you choose an electricity supplier, you will not be automatically enrolled, but you are invited to participate. If you would like to participate, please contact customer support.
Before calling, we recommend that you first check the terms of your existing electricity supply contract. Many include minimum enrollment periods and early termination fees.
Who do I call when the power goes out?
Call Eversource if your power goes out, as always. Eversource will continue to deliver your electricity and maintain the polls and wires.
Will I receive a second bill?
No. Eversource will continue to bill you for your electricity, and this is the only electricity bill you will receive as a participant in this program.
Will Eversource provide me with a lower quality of service because I participate in this program?
No. Eversource’s quality of service will not be affected by your participation in the 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 choose your supplier or Walpole does.
What if Eversource's price falls below the program price?
The program price is fixed until December 2020. Eversource’s Basic Service prices change every six months or less, depending on what kind of customer you are. As a result, it is likely that for some months, the Eversource price will fall below the program price. The program goal is to beat the average of the changing Eversource prices.
If the Eversource price does fall below the program price, you are free to opt out of the program and return to Eversource’s Basic Service.
I am currently eligible for the low-income rate. Will this change?
No. If you are eligible for a low-income discount from Eversource, it will be unaffected by your participation in the program.
I have budget billing from Eversource. Will this change?
Yes. If you participate in the Walpole Power Choice program, budget billing will no longer apply to the supplier services portion of your Eversource bill.
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 Eversource bill and will continue to be calculated based on Eversource’s Basic Service price, not the program price.
Will I be enrolled if I am on Eversource's Do Not Call list?
No. If you have added your name to Eversource’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, please contact customer support.
Is Walpole the only community in Massachusetts creating this kind of program?
No. Municipal electricity aggregation has been building momentum across Massachusetts. Walpole has joined joining more than 125 other Massachusetts communities that already have active aggregations, communities such as Salem, Natick, Chelmsford, Swampscott, Greenfield, Westborough, the communities of the Cape, and many others.