Frequently Asked Questions

In order to select either the Arlington Premium 50% Local Green or the Arlington Premium 100% Local Green plan, please go here to do so online or contact the supplier to the program directly, Direct Energy Services, at (866) 968-8065 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST, or via email at aggregationsupport@directenergy.com.

Community Choice Electricity Aggregation (CCE) is a program in Massachusetts that came out of the Restructuring Act of 1997, specifically Chapter 164: Section 134. Aggregation of electrical load by municipality or group of municipalities; adoption of energy plan. The Act empowers cities and towns to create large buying groups of residential and business electricity accounts in order to seek bids for cheaper supply rates, essentially bulk-purchasing. The purpose of the Act was to ensure that the benefits of energy deregulation were passed on to residential customers and businesses by providing the ability to “aggregate” their accounts within their municipal boundaries in order to obtain competitive bids from Third Party Suppliers (TPS). Grouping residential accounts together creates economies of scale, enabling participating municipalities to achieve greater savings for account holders as a whole. You may find more information about the electric industry in the state by visiting the Department of Public Utilities (D.P.U.) website or the Department of Energy Resources website on municipal aggregation.

Disclaimer: A goal of the CCA program is to produce savings for customers, but savings cannot be guaranteed compared to the utility’s basic service rate which changes every six months for residential and small business and lighting customers and every three months for large business customers. The Aggregation program seeks to provide price stability and average savings over the full term of the program, but because future basic service rates are not known, there is no guarantee of savings.

The objective of CCA is simply to lower the cost of electricity bills through the formation of a buying group composed of residents and businesses of one or more municipalities without interfering with the level of service provided by the utility, in this case, Eversource, distributing the electricity supply.

Disclaimer: A goal of the CCA program is to produce savings for customers, but savings cannot be guaranteed compared to the utility’s basic service rate which changes every six months for residential and small business and lighting customers and every three months for large business customers. The Aggregation program seeks to provide price stability and average savings over the full term of the program, but because future basic service rates are not known, there is no guarantee of savings.

First, the municipality passed a warrant article at a Town Meeting or a motion at City Council. The municipality then selected Good Energy, L.P. to seek bids from third party suppliers to obtain competitive electricity rates for participants. An account holder will be able to opt out of the program during a 30-day period at the onset of the program. They may also leave the program at any point with no associated termination penalties or fees.

Disclaimer: A goal of the CCA program is to produce savings for customers, but savings cannot be guaranteed compared to the utility’s basic service rate which changes every six months for residential and small business and lighting customers and every three months for large business customers. The Aggregation program seeks to provide price stability and average savings over the full term of the program, but because future basic service rates are not known, there is no guarantee of savings.

The goal of CCA is primarily savings and long-term price stability, though savings cannot be guaranteed, due to the fact that there is no visibility into future rates. Participants will see no change in their utility bill other than a change in price on energy supply. They will continue to receive a single bill, make one payment, and continue to receive the same level of service from Eversource.

Disclaimer: A goal of the CCA program is to produce savings for customers, but savings cannot be guaranteed compared to the utility’s basic service rate which changes every six months for residential and small business and lighting customers and every three months for large business customers. The Aggregation program seeks to provide price stability and average savings over the full term of the program, but because future basic service rates are not known, there is no guarantee of savings.

Arlington joined over 140 Massachusetts municipalities, including Brookline, Somerville, and Winchester to take advantage of the state law that allows this type of municipal aggregation. View a list of them here.

Yes, your single bill will continue to come from Eversource.

The program originally launched in August 2017. The program renews in December 2019 with a new supplier, new pricing and higher renewable energy content. 

If you are currently receiving your electricity supply from Eversource Basic Service, you do not need to do anything. You will automatically be enrolled in the program unless you choose to opt out.

No, you do not have to participate in the community choice aggregation program. Residents and businesses can opt out without penalty during a 30-day opt-out period. Opt-out notices are provided via USPS mail prior to the program commencing for eligible account holders. Simply return the opt-out notice within 30 days and your account(s) will not be included. Participating account holders may leave the program at any time without penalty. You may also opt out here.

Your electricity bill has two cost components – delivery and supply. The aggregation program only changes the supply component of your bill. The delivery portion of your bill will not be affected.

Initial enrollment took place in July 2017. The program subsequently began in August 2017 and renews in December 2019. Changes are always reflected on the following month’s bill for the previous month’s service.

If you move within the municipal boundaries of the town, you may preemptively contact Direct Energy Services by phone Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST (866) 968-8065, or via email at aggregationsupport@directenergy.com to re-enroll your new account in the aggregation program at the original rate for the duration of the term. If you do not preemptively contact Direct Energy Services, you will receive an opt-out notification letter which details the program. Simply disregard the opt-out notification letter if you wish to participate in the program. Please note that your first month of service will default to Eversource Basic Generation Service supply, but will then transition to the Arlington program on your next available billing cycle.

Yes, you can continue to participate in a budget billing/equal payment plan. No action is required to remain in the budget billing/equal payment plan.

Participating account holders may terminate their participation at any time without any early termination or exit fees. Similarly, they may return to the program at any time with no associated re-enrollment fees but are not guaranteed the original contract rate.

Each eligible account holder should have received written notification after the bid informing them of the winning supplier price compared to Eversource’s rates, in addition to the account holder’s right to opt out. After the 30-day opt-out period has ended and the program has begun, each eligible account holder that did not opt out will see the following indicated on your Eversource bill:

“WE’VE RECENTLY BEEN NOTIFIED YOU CHANGED SUPPLIERS. EVERSOURCE WILL NOW BILL YOU ON BEHALF OF YOUR NEW SUPPLIER.”

On the right-hand side of your bill, (DIRECT ENERGY SERVICES) will be indicated as the Supplier.

This is the only notification from Eversource confirming participation in the program that account holders will receive.

The following will be indicated on Page 2 of subsequent bills you receive from Eversource:
Aggregator Information
TOWN OF ARLINGTON

Yes, any account currently on basic service that is not enrolled with a TPS is eligible and will be automatically enrolled unless they choose to opt out.

There is no guarantee the program rate will always be below the utility Basic Service rate. The aggregation price usually reflects a fixed rate for the full term of the Electric Service Agreement, which may be several years in duration. The Basic Service rate changes every six months for residential and small business & lighting accounts, and every three months for large commercial/industrial customers.

Disclaimer: A goal of the CCA program is to produce savings for customers, but savings cannot be guaranteed compared to the utility’s basic service rate which changes every six months for residential and small business and lighting customers and every three months for large business customers. The Aggregation program seeks to provide price stability and average savings over the full term of the program, but because future basic service rates are not known, there is no guarantee of savings.

Only third party suppliers licensed by the state were eligible to bid. In addition, an in-depth request for proposal was disseminated by the energy consultant to interested third party suppliers requiring them to provide their qualifications. Among other things, the request required suppliers to demonstrate financial strength, experience, and customer service capabilities.

No, by law, utilities are not permitted to bid. With regard to supply, the utility only provides default service, however, the utility will always be responsible for delivering your electricity.

The contract term with Direct Energy Services will be 35 months in duration.

No, there is no contract to sign. The program is designed to be as easy as possible for participants. Accounts are automatically enrolled as long as they are currently receiving supply from the utility.

Residential and small commercial accounts that are enrolled in the program may terminate their participation in the program at any time without any early termination or exit fees. They may also re-enroll in the program at a later date with no associated re-enrollment fees, but are not guaranteed the original contract rate. The aggregation program rate will be reflected on the account holder’s utility bill on the next available billing cycle. Because switching suppliers requires at least two days to process by your utility, you are encouraged to re-enroll in the program at least five business days prior to the meter read date indicated on your utility bill in order to ensure re-enrollment occurs on a timely basis.

Having a solar system which allows you to earn net metering credits, e.g., Solarize Arlington, does not preclude you from participating in the aggregation program. As long as the account holder is receiving supply from Eversource, they are able to participate in the aggregation program and will continue to receive net metering credits from the utility. Net metering will work in the same way as before you joined the CCA program. Your net metering credits will continue to appear on your Eversource bill and will continue to be calculated based on Eversource’s Basic Service price. In addition, there is no change in SREC eligibility or the ability to sell the SRECs. For a more detailed explanation, please click here.

All service and billing questions will continue to be directed to Eversource
at (800) 592-2000.

Direct Energy Services is the winning supplier for the program. They may be reached by phone Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST (866) 220-5696, or via email at aggregationsupport@directenergy.com.

No, the delivery of your electricity is always the responsibility of the utility. As a result of energy deregulation in 1997 in Massachusetts, utilities are only able to collect revenue from delivering the power to your meter, not from the actual supply. This is why utilities in Massachusetts are indifferent to the supply portion of the bill. Simply put, your utility does not make any money on the actual electricity they supply to your account(s). They only generate revenue from the delivery of that electricity.

No, you will not be charged a higher delivery rate; delivery rates do not change based on participation in a CCA program. Delivery rates are set by the utility and are regulated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.

Third party suppliers are currently very active within the Commonwealth. This is due to the recent significant increases in electricity rates for all utilities within Massachusetts. We strongly advise any account holder to read the complete contract fine print and have a clear understanding of any termination penalties, along with rate details, before agreeing to purchase electricity from a third party supplier.

No, unfortunately, you may continue to receive other third party supply offers. It is important, therefore, to remember the details of the aggregation program, i.e., the duration of the program, rate, etc. Very often, due to the length of time commonly associated with these types of programs, participants forget the program is still in effect, when in fact there may be months or even years remaining. Sometimes this results in a participant inadvertently leaving the program for what they may believe to be a better offer. You are encouraged to remember that the CCA program is operated under the due diligence of your municipality and though not impossible, it is unlikely that other offers will be more competitive. Please regularly visit this site and your municipality’s site(s) for updates.

No, your municipality does not profit from a CCA program.

The energy consultant will be responsible for managing all aspects of the program and keeping the municipality appropriately informed.

Please check this site for updates and look for announcements from your municipality and local news outlets.

Good Energy’s due diligence process required bidding suppliers to meet strict qualification requirements. Among other things, the request required suppliers to demonstrate financial strength and experience, as well as customer service capabilities. This process minimized any chance of a supplier going out of business. If the supplier is bought, the purchasing entity will continue to provide supply service under the existing contract terms.

No, there are no changes to your current meter. Eversource continues to read your meter.

No, no deposit is required.

At the end of the CCA contract term, Good Energy will work with your community to obtain renewal pricing. Similar to the original term and renewal, eligible customers will be given the opportunity to opt out.

No, the municipality does not pay any administrative fees.

For the Town of Arlington and other communities in Greater Boston, Green Energy Consumers Alliance, Inc. (previously Massachusetts Energy Consumers Alliance) is supplying the local renewable energy above the amount required by the state law known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard.  Green Energy Consumers Alliance, a Boston-based nonprofit, purchases renewable energy wholesale mostly from community-based wind power projects located in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  Green Energy Consumers Alliance has entered into a number of long-term contracts with wind power projects located in communities such as Plymouth, Gloucester, Scituate, and Ipswich.

Good Energy, L.P. is a leading national energy management and consulting firm that has been implementing large and small community choice aggregation programs in various states across the country since 2008. They have partnered with your municipality to design and operate this CCA program. Good Energy is headquartered in New York City and is currently the retained community electricity aggregation consultant for over 200 communities across the country. Arlington selected Good Energy to serve as its energy consultant through a competitive process, in partnership with neighboring cities and towns.