Common questions about Community Choice Electricity
Program basicsProgram basics
Yes. The City of Boston’s Community Choice Electricity Program belongs to a family of programs called municipal aggregation programs. In 1997, Massachusetts was the first state in the union to pass legislation that enabled the formation of municipal aggregation programs. Since then, nine other states have passed similar legislation.
These programs allow customers to purchase electricity from entities other than their utility company and have become extremely popular. More than 150 communities within Massachusetts have implemented or are in the process of implementing municipal aggregation programs.
The Community Choice Electricity Program is an opt-out program. This means that Eversource Basic Service customers will be automatically enrolled in the program unless they opt-out. If a customer initially opts out of the program, they are free to enroll at a later date. If a customer is enrolled in the program, they can leave at any time. In either case, there are no penalties or fees.
The program is an opt-out program in accordance with Massachusetts law (M.G.L. c. 164, § 134). As of 2021, there are more than 150 municipalities that already have or are developing similar programs. All of them are opt-out programs.
The opt-out provision essentially makes the program the new default electric supply option for Boston’s customers. It’s the electric supply option that customers receive if they take no action on their electric account. Previously, this role was played by Eversource through their Basic Service.
The CCE program signs contracts with electric suppliers that then serve and supply customers with electricity. Constellation NewEnergy, Inc. (“Constellation”) is the Program’s current supplier. Constellation won the City of Boston’s competitive bidding process. They have a contract with the City from February through November 2021.
The bidding process was carried out following the City’s standard procurement guidelines. Bidders were assessed on a number of criteria, including:
- their experience with large municipal aggregation programs
- their ability to further the program’s six principles and values, and
- their pricing for the program’s different products.
The City of Boston will send out notification letters on a quarterly basis to new Eversource Basic Service customers. Basic Service customers who previously opted-out of the CCE Program will not receive notification letters a second time. These notification letters include:
- a welcome message from the City
- program details
- a language access document, and
- an opt-out reply card.
Customers who do not wish to be enrolled should sign and return the opt-out reply card. Otherwise, they will be welcomed and placed in the program’s standard product.
If you opt-in or opt-out, the next meter read by the utility will mark the point when service ends with one supplier and begins with another. Your very next bill would be the last one with your previous supplier listed. The bill after that would show your new supplier. If you see “Billing for City of Boston CCE” on your Eversource bill, you are part of the program.
You have the option of blocking your electric account from authorized switching to a third-party supplier from Basic Service. However, if you put a block on your account, you will not be automatically enrolled in the City’s CCE Program.
If you're already a customer of the CCE Program and you put a block on your electric account with Eversource, when the City selects a new supplier for the CCE Program you will likely be unenrolled.
Do you have solar panels on your home or business, or participate in a community solar program? You may currently benefit from net metering and on-bill credits. If you participate in the CCE program, you will continue to receive any credits to your account. Here’s how it works:
- When you generate electricity and export it to the grid, Eversource will compensate you for that electricity at their Basic Service rate. This will appear on the delivery portion of your Eversoure bill.
- When you draw electricity from the grid, you will be charged at the program rate. This will appear on the supply portion of your Eversource bill.
- Please note: Any credits you have accumulated already are unaffected by the CCE Program. You will continue to maintain those credits.
The CCE program will not affect your participation with green power supply options.
Green power supply options allow for concurrent enrollment with Basic Service or competitive supply. This includes municipal aggregation programs like Community Choice Electricity.
Your residential assistance discount will not change as a result of the CCE program. This discount is applied to the delivery portion of your Eversource bill, not the supply side. The CCE Program only affects your supply charge. If you receive a residential assistance discount, you will continue to do so under the CCE program.
If you are currently on a budget billing plan with Eversource, you will be able to stay on that plan under the CCE program.
Yes. New Start eligibility is not dependent on a customer’s electric supplier. The forgiveness amount is applied to both the distribution and supply balances that are owed. Learn more about the New Start program.
Yes, you will continue to receive a single electric bill from Eversource. The only difference is that the program will be listed under the supplier section of your electric bill. You will see written:
No. Blackouts and brownouts almost exclusively occur due to issues with grid infrastructure and weather events. Reliability is not tied to a customer’s electricity supplier. The program will not affect the reliability of the electricity that you receive. Eversource will continue to ensure grid reliability.