What is the Webster PowerUp 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 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 Webster will choose its own electricity supplier.
To launch the program, Webster has signed an 21-month contract with First Point Power to supply electricity from February 2019 through November 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. National Grid is responsible for electricity delivery in Webster. In addition, National Grid typically chooses the electricity supplier and passes that cost along to customers. This is called National Grid Basic Service.
Within the Webster PowerUp program, National Grid will continue to deliver the electricity but will no longer choose the electricity supplier. Instead, Webster will choose an electricity supplier for Town residents and businesses through a competitive bid process.
What will my electricity supply price be?
Your price will depend on which program option are you enrolled in. Webster PowerUp offers two choices:
- PowerUp Standard: 10.928 ¢/kWh
This is the default program offering. All National Grid Basic Service customers will be automatically enrolled in PowerUp Standard unless they opt out. Like National Grid’s Basic Service, Power Choice Standard meets minimum state requirements for renewable electricity.
- PowerUp Green: 11.348 ¢/kWh
This optional upgrade gives you 100% renewable energy, all from renewable energy projects in New England. You may choose this option by calling First Point Power at 1-888-875-1711 and requesting it.
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 November 2020, while National Grid’s 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 National Grid’s Basic Service price. The program aims to deliver savings when compared with the average of the changing Basic Service prices.
Please note that any savings will apply only to the supplier services portion of your National Grid electric bill. Delivery charges will be unaffected by the Webster PowerUp program.
How long will the program last? What will happen after November 2020?
Webster has signed a contract with First Point Power, which will be in effect from February 2019 meter reads until November 2020 meter reads. At that point, Webster can establish a new electricity supply contract or end the program and return participants to National Grid’s Basic Service. An announcement will be made in either case, and the transition will be seamless for anyone enrolled in the program.
What will change with this program?
You will see two changes as a result of participating in the Webster PowerUp program:
- On the Supplier Services portion of your National Grid electricity bill, you will see First Point Power listed instead of National Grid’s Basic Service.
- The rate that is used to calculated the supply portion of your National Grid electricity bill will change from National Grid’s Basic Service price to the price for your program option. For most people, that will be the PowerUp Standard price.
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.
How do I join the program?
All residential and commercial electricity accounts in Webster and on National Grid’s Basic Service (meaning accounts that have not signed a contract with an electricity supplier) will be automatically enrolled in the program. Most Webster electricity customers will be automatically enrolled
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 by calling First Point Power at 1-888-875-1711 and asking to be enrolled.
- 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.
Why does the program use an automatic enrollment model?
Automatic enrollment is the state law for municipal electricity aggregations like Webster PowerUp. Webster had no choice in this matter. However, you always have the right to opt out at any time.
Do I have to participate?
No. All National Grid Basic Service customers will be automatically enrolled. But you do not have to participate in the program if you do not want to.
After the electricity contract is signed, you will have three ways to opt out before the program begins:
- Sign and return the reply card you receive in the mail, if you receive a reply card in the mail
- Call First Point Power at 1-888-875-1711
- Opt out online
After the program launches and after you are enrolled, you have two ways to opt out:
- Call First Point Power at 1-888-875-1711
- Opt out online
You may opt out of the program at any time with no penalty or fee.
I have signed my own contract with an electricity supplier. Will I be enrolled in the program?
No. If you have already signed a contract with an electricity supplier, you will not automatically be enrolled in the program. However, you are welcome to join.
If you would like to participate in the Webster PowerUp program, we recommend that you first check the terms of your existing electricity supply contract. Many include minimum enrollment periods and early termination fees.
To enroll in the program if you will not be automatically enrolled, call First Point Power at 1-888-875-1711 and ask to be enrolled.
Will I still be a National Grid customer?
Yes. National Grid will remain your electric utility. The Webster PowerUp program will impact the supply portion of your National Grid bill, but National Grid will continue to deliver your electricity, bill you, and address power outages, the same as always.
Who do I call when the power goes out?
National Grid will continue to deliver your electricity and maintain the polls and wires. Call National Grid if your power goes out, as always.
Will I receive a second bill?
No. National Grid will continue to bill you for your electricity, and this is the only electricity bill you will receive as a participant 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.
What if National Grid's price falls below the program price?
The program price will not change until November 2020. However, 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 will be to beat the average of National Grid’s changing prices over the duration of the electricity supply contract.
However, if the National Grid price does fall below the program price, 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 Basic Service.
How long will the program last?
Until the aggregation is formally discontinued by the Town, the program will remain in place. However, a specific electricity supply contract lasts for a set amount of time. The current contract with First Point Power extends until November 2020. When that contract is finished, the Town will issue an RFP for a new contract. Existing program participants would continue their enrollment in the program automatically under the new contract. If, however, the Town chooses not to issue another RFP and sign a new electricity supply contract, all program participants will be returned to National Grid Basic Service. The transition will be seamless either way for program participants.
I am currently eligible for budget billing / a low-income discount from National Grid. Will this 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.
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.
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 Webster the only community in Massachusetts creating this kind of program?
No. Municipal electricity aggregation has been building momentum across Massachusetts. Webster will be 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.