Consumer Alert: Check Electricity Offerings Carefully!

City Hall is getting reports from Melrose residents about calls from companies claiming they are from National Grid offering “energy consumption benefits” and “rate reductions.” Others complain that electric supplier sales representatives are going door-to-door in Melrose and aggressively selling electricity supply contracts.

Please note:

  • National Grid does not call customers to offer rate reductions. The latest round of messages and calls to Melrose customers are from a supplier that does not share their real company name but falsely implies that they are from National Grid calling about the “rate reduction notice” on your latest bill. In fact, the bill notice simply states that October electric bills may be delayed due to a change in rates. National Grid applied to the Department of Public Utilities for an increase in Delivery Service rates effective October 1. DPU approved the delivery rate increase on September 30.
  • The City of Melrose and its Community Electricity Aggregation (CEA) supplier Constellation do not call residents unless you call them first. Melrose CEA Program communication is conducted by mail and clearly identified with the city seal.
  • This is the season for electricity suppliers to engage in direct marketing tactics to utility customers to get customers to sign up with them. Not all electricity supply offers are good – they often lure customers in with low fixed rates for three to six months and then switch to very high variable rates without you noticing. And they can charge both account administration and contract cancelation fees.
  • WARNING – do not provide your National Grid account number to a sales person on the phone or at your door unless you agree to their contract terms. When you give them your National Grid account number you authorize that company to switch your account. By law you have 72 hours after signing up to cancel the contract without penalty simply by calling the company back and canceling.

The Melrose CEA Program supply rate with Constellation is 9.6 cents per kWh through December. This compares to the National Grid default rate of 13 cents last winter, 8 cents this summer, and 9.7 cents this coming winter starting November 1st. The city will solicit supplier bids for 2017 soon and will notify eligible account holders of the new Melrose Program rate by mail and in local papers. Remember that you can opt out of or leave the Melrose Program at any time without penalty by calling the Constellation phone number on your electric bill.

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