1. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROGRAMS ADVERTISED TO “LOWER YOUR ELECTRIC BILL” AND MUNICIPAL AGGREGATION?
You may have recently seen programs advertised to lower you electric bill by switching to a different provider. These Provider Programs differ from Municipal Aggregation Programs. While both programs seek to lower your electric bill, these programs are run very differently.
2. WHAT IS THE “COMMUNITY CHOICE POWER SUPPLY PROGRAM”?
The Community Choice Power Supply Program allows local government to combine the purchasing power of its residents to achieve savings on electricity costs. In doing so, it creates competition among electricity suppliers which helps ensure competitive rates. Consumers are no longer “stuck” with the cost and fluctuation of Basic Service Rates because the Program offers them another option.
3. WHY HAVE I RECEIVED A CONSUMER NOTIFICATION LETTER?
Your Town has signed a contract with a Competitive Power Supplier on behalf of your community as part of their Community Choice Power Supply Program.
4. WHY HAVEN’T I RECEIVE A CONSUMER NOTIFICATION LETTER?
You will not receive a letter if your Local Utility has your account listed as being contracted with a Competitive Supplier. However, there is a lag between the date the utility provides the account data and the date the consumer notification letters are mailed so there may be some accounts that are categorized wrong at the time of the mailing.
5. HOW WILL THIS AFFECT ME?
You will receive the benefit of a lower rate on your electricity and therefore a lower electric bill. Otherwise, YOU WILL NOT NOTICE ANY CHANGE. The only difference you will see is that the name of the chosen supplier will be printed under the “Supply Services” section of your monthly bill. You will continue to receive one bill from your Local Utility. You will continue to send your payments to your Local Utility for processing. Your Local Utility will continue to read meters and maintain the distribution and transmission lines. Reliability and quality of service will remain the same. Furthermore, you will continue to have all existing consumer rights and protections.
6. WHAT IS A "COMPETITIVE POWER SUPPLIER”?
A Competitive Power Supplier is a power supplier other than your Local Utility. Your electricity is currently being supplied by your Local Utility unless you have switched to a Competitive Supplier on your own. Your electric bill is divided into two parts: delivery and supply. The supply is no longer regulated and therefore can be provided by a Competitive Power Supplier. Delivery is still regulated and can only be provided by your Local Utility. Your Local Utility will continue to deliver your power supply over the wires. However, the power running through those wires can be provided by a Competitive Supplier.
7. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM?
If you are a Basic Service consumer that has received the notification letter AND you have not opted-out you will not need to do anything to participate. You will be automatically be enrolled in the Program.
8. WHY HAVE I NOT BEEN ENROLLED, I THOUGHT IT WAS AUTOMATIC?
Enrollment is NOT AUTOMATIC if you have not received a Consumer Notification Letter OR if your Local Utility had your account listed as being contracted with a Competitive Supplier at the time of the mailing. Periodically, the Community Choice Power Supply Program will send out a notification letter and opt-out card to customers on the Local Utility’s Basic Service.
9. CAN I PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM IF I DID NOT RECEIVE A CONSUMER NOTIFICATION LETTER?
As long as your community has a DPU approved aggregation working with Colonial Power Group, you may OPT-IN AT ANY TIME by either clicking and filling out the online Opt-In Form, OR calling Colonial Power Group, Inc. at (508) 485-5858. To avoid delays in your enrollment, before opting in, please make sure that if you have previously contracted with a Competitive Supplier confirm with them that you will not incur any fees for leaving their supply.
10. WHEN WILL MY ENROLLMENT TAKE EFFECT?
It will start on the meter read date stated on the Consumer Notification letter. You will see the new rate on the bill the following month. For instance, if your meter read enrollment date is January 1, your usage from January 1- January 31 will be charged the new rate and billed on February 1. If you opt-in any other time, enrollment can take up to two billing cycles before taking effect.
11. WHAT IF I DO NOT WANT POWER FROM THIS SUPPLIER?
Each consumer has the right to choose his/her supplier. Enclosed in the consumer notification mailing is an Opt-Out Return Card. If you do not want to participate in the Community Choice Power Supply Program, you can sign and date the card and drop it in the mail OR you may fill out the online Opt-Out Form OR call us toll-free at (866) 485-5858. You will be removed from the list of participating customers. The initial opt-out period is (30) days of the mailing date of
the notification letter.
12. WHAT IF I DECIDE I WANT TO OPT-OUT AFTER THE 30 DAY INITIAL OPTOUT PERIOD?
Participation is designed to be as open as possible. You may leave the Community Choice Power Supply Program at no charge and be placed on their Local Utility's Basic Service or choose another Competitive Supplier on their own. Opting out of the Community Choice Power Supply Program is easy. You may fill out the online Opt-Out Form OR call us toll-free at (866) 485- 5858. It may take a couple of billing cycles before you are back on your Local Utility’s Basic
Service. There is NO PENALTY CHARGE to Opt-Out. Large consumers (G2, G3), if you participate initially and then choose to leave the Community Choice Power Supply Program, you may return only if accepted by the Competitive Supplier and at prevailing market rates.
13. WHAT IF I HAVE ALREADY CHOSEN A COMPETITIVE SUPPLIER?
The Local Utility records should indicate that you already have a Competitive Supplier. If so, you will not be enrolled in the Community Choice Power Supply Program. However, there is a lag between the date the utility provides the account data and the date the consumer notification letters are mailed so there may be some accounts that are categorized wrong at the time of the mailing. This is why we recommend that you OPT-OUT if you have received a letter and have contracted with a Competitive Supplier or have chosen a Green Power Supply Option.
14. WHAT IF I AM PART OF NATIONAL GRID’S SMART ENERGY SOLUTIONS PROGRAM?
The Local Utility records should indicate that you are part of National Grid’s Smart Energy Solutions Program. If so, you will not be enrolled in the Community Choice Power Supply Program. However, there is no penalty for leaving National Grid’s Smart Energy Solutions Program and joining the Community Choice Power Supply Program. Please note that if you do leave the Smart Energy Solutions Program, you will forfeit access to the Program’s web tools,
Program-specific communications and notifications, and the advanced and automated features of the Program’s in-home technology packages. If you desire to cease your participation in the Smart Energy Solutions Program, you should call Smart Energy Solutions directly (1-855-377-7627) and ask to drop out of the Program. You may then OPT-IN to the Community Choice Power Supply Program by either clicking the online OPT-IN/OUT button and following the directions, OR calling Colonial Power Group, Inc. at (508) 485-5858. It may take a couple of billing cycles before you enrollment is processed.
15. WHAT IF I AM ON A BUDGET PLAN OR ELIGIBLE LOW-INCOME DELIVERY RATE?
You will continue to receive those benefits from your Local Utility.
16. WHAT IF I OPERATE A BUSINESS AND HAVE A "TAX EXEMPT" STATUS, WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO MAINTAIN MY STATUS UNDER THIS PROGRAM?
According to Massachusetts law, in order to maintain your tax exempt status for your electric bill, you must send a copy of your tax exempt certificate directly to the Competitive Supplier chosen by your community (the supplier name is listed on your individual community’s web page).
17. WHAT IF I HAVE SOLAR PANELS ON MY RESIDENCE OR BUSINESS?
You may remain in the Community Choice Power Supply Program. You will continue to receive your net metering credits while benefiting from the aggregation rate on your electricity.