After a recent analysis of current rates, the City determined that the best option for Melrose ratepayers is the National Grid Basic Service supply rate.
As of July, all accounts currently enrolled in the Melrose Program will be automatically switched to the National Grid Basic Service fixed supply rate of 9.432 cents per kilowatt hour. No action is required as the switch is automatic and will appear on National Grid electric bills received in August. National Grid supply rates will change again on Nov. 1.
The City plans to continue the aggregation program in late 2018 after the current NEMA rate spike ends.
Customers beware of purchasing
Melrose consumers should continue to be aware of aggressive sales tactics by suppliers going door-to-door or on the phone. Do not provide an electric account number or say yes to any offers unless the rates and contract terms are clear and agreed upon.
When considering an electricity supply offer, avoid variable rates, contract termination fees, and claims of “green power” that comes from out of state and provides no local benefits. Consumers should know that National Grid does not call customers to offer discounts and beware of any callers who imply they are calling from National Grid.
The CEA program has been successful for the past 18 months, offering savings, consumer protections, and a trusted choice among many available on the market. One of the unexpected benefits has been increased public awareness and understanding of electric bills. Melrose residents also contributed to the development of new renewable energy projects in our state, which makes us all healthier, our air cleaner, and Massachusetts much less reliable on importing fossil fuels from out of state. It’s been a win-win.
Now is a good time to take advantage of MassSave incentives in order to save as much electricity and heating fuel as possible because the cheapest energy is the energy not used. Insulation, energy efficient lighting, heating system upgrades, and other measures can have a significant impact on energy savings. Call HomeWorks Energy at 781-305-3319 to schedule a no-cost MassSave home energy assessment.
Residents who wish to green their electricity and purchase additional renewable energy on top of the 12 percent required by the state can do so by joining Mass Energy’s New England Wind or Green Start programs at https://www.massenergy.org.
Martha Grover, Energy Efficiency Manager for the City of Melrose, contributed the following article (excerpts above) for Wicked Local, June 28, 2017.
Welcome to the Melrose Community Electricity Aggregation (CEA), an electricity program that offers Melrose residents and businesses rate stability, consumer protections, and an opportunity to invest in local renewable energy sources at an affordable price. It is an alternative to National Grid’s Basic Service and other electricity suppliers in the competitive market.
Also known as “Municipal Aggregation,” it is a program created under Massachusetts General Law that allows a municipality to arrange for electricity supply on behalf of consumers in a city or town. Melrose CEA program participants remain National Grid customers and still call National Grid in the event of outages or billing issues. Charges from the new supplier will appear on the bottom of the National Grid bill as in this SAMPLE.
In January 2016, all National Grid Basic Service customers in Melrose were automatically enrolled with the selected supplier Constellation unless they chose not to participate by opting out. Participants can leave the program at any time without penalty to go back to Basic Service or to another supplier.
Program Rate Options
Constellation offers participants three options:
Melrose Local Green: All program participants are automatically enrolled in Melrose Local Green which includes an additional 5% local renewable energy from wind and other nearby sources on top of what the state requires. The current rate is $0.1022/kWh.
Melrose Premium Green: This option is sourced from 100% local renewable energy. The current rate is $0.1307/kWh.
Melrose Basic: This option meets minimum state requirements for renewable energy. The current rate is $0.1007/kWh.
To switch to Premium Green or Basic from Melrose Local Green, just call Constellation at (855) 310-5567.
National Grid’s Basic Service rates change every six months on May 1st and November 1st which makes budgeting difficult. National Grid customers experienced significant rate swings for the past few years. In the first year of the program, the Melrose CEA program rate stayed the same for twelve months. The current rate is fixed through the June 2017 meter read.
Residents and businesses have a lot of choices when it comes to electricity supply and receive multiple offers from suppliers by phone, in the mail, and from door-to-door sales. The Melrose CEA program is another option Melrose consumers have to choose from.
Consumers can opt out at any time without paying a penalty or termination fee. There are no additional administrative fees added to your bill as is the case with some electric suppliers. In the interest of transparency, the rates are posted in advance in local papers, on Mayor Dolan’s Blog, and on this site.
Diversifying our energy sources and relying less on fossil fuels and more on renewable energy is a priority for many in Massachusetts. The additional renewable energy in the Green options offered in the Melrose CEA program contribute to the development of new green power projects in our state.
How to join the program
All eligible residents and businesses are automatically enrolled in the program. Eligible customers include residential and commercial National Grid Basic Service customers in Melrose who are not already enrolled with another supplier.
Did you recently open a new National Grid electric account?
When a new account is opened with National Grid, the customer receives a letter in the mail within 1-2 months explaining the program along with an opt out card. If you take no action, you will be automatically enrolled. If you fill out the card and mail it back, you will not be enrolled. You can also call Constellation at (855) 310-5567 to join the program.
Do you have a contract with a different electricity supplier?
Call your current supplier to find out when your contract expires and if there any termination fees if you cancel the contract. If you would like to join the Melrose CEA program, just call Constellation at (855) 310-5567.
How to leave the program
Call Constellation at (855) 310-5567, provide your National Grid account number, and say that you would like to unenroll. It will take one to two billing cycles for the change to appear on your National Grid bill.