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Terms of Service: New England WindSM

for electric customers in Eversource (formerly NSTAR) service territory

effective 1/8/2016

This Customer Agreement for green power service (“Agreement”) is between Massachusetts Energy Consumers Alliance, Inc. (“Mass Energy”) and you, a customer who has selected Mass Energy to provide you with green power. These Terms of Service govern your participation in Mass Energy’s New England Wind program.  Please keep a copy for your records. From the date on your welcome letter which accompanies these Terms of Service in a packet sent to you via mail during initial enrollment, you have five days to change your mind about choosing New England Wind before we enroll you in the program and may begin billing you for service. You may cancel this agreement anytime by calling Mass Energy’s toll-free customer service number (1-800-287-3950) or by writing to the address listed below. 

Who should I contact for more information?

Massachusetts Energy Consumers Alliance, Inc. (“Mass Energy”)
284 Amory Street
Boston, MA  02130
Phone: 617-524-3950 or 1-800-287-3950
Email: greenreply@massenergy.org
Web address: www.massenergy.org

What is New England Wind?

The New England Wind program supports renewable energy projects in New England through the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs) to match your electricity consumption. 100% of your consumption supports new wind resources in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Mass Energy will purchase renewable energy certificates using monies paid. Each of these certificates will signify one megawatt-hour of electricity generated by a renewable energy facility connected to the New England power grid. Mass Energy will retire these certificates to ensure that they are not used for other purposes. You will not be taking ownership of either RECs or any associated electricity. You will continue to receive a separate electricity bill from your utility and your payments to New England Wind will not be credited on your electricity bill.

What is this program’s relationship with Eversource?

With authorization from you, the customer, Mass Energy is utilizing Eversource’s “Green Button,” a service available to Eversource customers, solely for the purpose of offering you the opportunity to participate in the New England Wind program. Mass Energy is not your electric service provider and is not responsible for Eversource’s failure to deliver electric service to you, or otherwise meet its obligations to you. Eversource is still your contact for power outages and other electric service questions.

The Green Button service is described in the following way on https://www.eversource.com/Content/ema-e/residential/programs-services/green-button

Eversource has joined leading utilities across the country by providing the "Green Button" on our web site. With a click of the button you can now view your electricity usage quickly and easily from our web site.

By using the "Green Button":

  • View an overall summary of your electricity usage over the past 13 months;
  • Provide your electricity usage data to third parties in a standardized format.

With your Eversource account number and service zip code, Mass Energy will query the Green Button each month for your kilowatt-hour (“kWh”) usage. The information will only be used to run this query and obtain kilowatt-hour usage information. No sensitive information about your Eversource account, including information you provided for billing or payment, can or will be accessed by Mass Energy.

With your kilowatt-hour usage information, we are able to ensure that an amount of renewable energy equivalent to your electricity use will flow onto the New England power grid on your behalf. We are also able to calculate your monthly payment, which is equal to 3.8 cents/kWh you use (see “How will I be billed?” below for more information).

Due to restrictions of the Green Button service, you may be ineligible to participate in the program. If this occurs, Mass Energy will contact you. Mass Energy does not know all the restrictions that apply.

How will I be billed?

Payments associated with New England Wind will be automatically deducted from the credit card or bank account you have provided to Mass Energy. Payments for New England Wind are separate from and in addition to your current electric utility charges and do not in any way affect or replace your obligation to pay your utility for the services it provides. No interest will accrue on any arrears associated with New England Wind.

You will be charged for New England Wind monthly. The amount will change from month to month based on your kilowatt-hour electricity usage. Your bill date may vary from month to month as well, as it is based on the day your electric meter is read. Mass Energy will communicate directly with the “Green Button” on Eversource’s website in order to receive your kilowatt-hour electricity usage. Mass Energy will notify you via email of any pending green power charges 7 days after your meter read date. 3 days after that email notification, you will be charged the specified amount.

By signing up and accepting these terms of service, you agree that Mass Energy may communicate with “Green Button” on Eversource’s website to receive your updated kilowatt-hour electricity usage information on a monthly basis.

How will my bill for New England Wind be calculated?

New England Wind is sold at a price of 3.8 cents per kilowatt-hour. This price will be applied to 100% of your electricity usage, using your monthly usage data that Mass Energy collects from “Green Button” on Eversource’s website.

For example, the average New England household uses about 600 kWh/month.  The total cost of New England Wind for this household would be calculated as follows: 600 kWh x 3.8 cents = $22.80 for a given month. Mass Energy would bill $22.80 to this average customer’s credit card or bank account.

Your total charges for New England Wind will vary from month to month according to your electricity usage.

What fuel sources will be used to generate New England Wind?

Please see the most recent Disclosure Statement at http://www.massenergy.org/renewable-energy/disclosurefor information on sources of New England Wind. Unless notified otherwise, 100% of New England Wind will come from qualified “new” wind turbines. "New" renewables are generation facilities operating after December 31, 1997. However, Mass Energy is committed to bringing new renewable energy onto the grid, so many of the resources in the mix have been built recently or will be coming online soon. See www.massenergy.org/local-sourcesfor a map of current and pending resources.

Will my electricity rates or resource mix change over time?

On a quarterly basis, Mass Energy will also provide you with a Disclosure Statement via our Currents newsletter, which documents the fuel source and resource mix of New England Wind. A full disclosure label, which includes information such as the price, emissions, and labor information on the renewable energy you have chosen is available quarterly, online at www.massenergy.org/renewable-energy. The resource mix reported for New England Wind will be for the most recent four quarters for which data is available. The price and resource mix may change to reflect market conditions such as the availability of new resources. You will be notified in writing of any price increases, or if the percentage of “new” resources decreases below one hundred percent (100%), thirty (30) days prior to any such change. If you do not wish to pay the new price or accept the new resource mix for New England Wind, you may terminate your participation by notifying Mass Energy at 1-800-287-3950 or by writing to the Mass Energy address listed at the beginning of these terms.

 The rates for your electricity services from Eversource are separate from New England Wind and may vary over time.  For more information on these charges, including current information about your utility services, please contact Eversource’s customer service department at 800-592-2000 FREE.

How will I know that I am participating in the New England Wind program? 

Once you have started New England Wind service, you will receive monthly billing emails from a Mass Energy staff member with the email address greenreply@massenergy.org, and be charged monthly to your credit card or bank account on file. If you do not provide Mass Energy with an email address, then you will not receive monthly billing updates; however, billing will still occur.

*NOTE: Please mark greenreply@massenergy.orgappropriately in your inbox so billing emails do not end up in your spam folder!
*NOTE: Currently, this system is not able to send emails to aol addresses.

You will also receive periodic communications from Mass Energy, such as newsletters and emails.

Mass Energy uses the Generation Information System, operated by the New England Power Pool, to ensure that Mass Energy has purchased and retired RECs on your behalf from the sources indicated on the disclosure label. This information is also subject to oversight by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities and Attorney General’s office. Each quarter, Mass Energy will send you a disclosure statement detailing the renewable electricity sources associated with the electricity you used in the previous quarter. 

Are my payments tax-deductible?

Yes – your payments are considered as charitable contributions, and can be claimed as such if you itemize your federal tax deductions! Mass Energy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your participation in New England Wind allows you to make a tax-deductible contribution towards the development of renewable energy generating sources. Please note that the amount you will be able to deduct will be based upon what you actually pay for New England Wind, rather than what you are billed for New England Wind. You may track your payments at www.massenergy.org by clicking “Members Only” at the top right-hand corner and creating a member log-in. 

Each January, Mass Energy will send you a tax receipt detailing the total amount you paid toward New England Wind in the previous year.

Other payments to your electric supply provider and distribution utility are not tax-deductible as charitable expenses. 

What is the term of this Agreement? How does this Agreement terminate? If I decide to terminate this Agreement, is there a fee?

As long as you have provided correct and complete information during the application process, and there are no restrictions on your account’s ability to utilize Eversource’s Green Button (see “What is this program’s relationship with Eversoirce?” above for details on restrictions), you will be issued a “Start Date” that falls approximately 5-7 days after your successful application. Your “Start Date” is the day that Mass Energy can officially begin querying the “Green Button” for your monthly electricity usage information (see “What is this program’s relationship to Eversource?” on page 1 for details on the “Green Button”), which is issued approximately once/month by Eversource. Billing for the program will begin once the first monthly usage data is returned from the “Green Button” as long as the usage data is from a meter read that has occurred after your “Start Date.”

Participation in New England Wind will terminate upon the first occurrence of any of the following events: you terminate participation by notifying Mass Energy by telephone at 1-800-287-3950, or in writing at the address for Mass Energy listed above; you move out of Eversource eastern MA service territory; you change your Eversource electric account number (due, for example, to a move within Eversource eastern service territory, or to changing the name on your account. In this case, you can be re-enrolled quickly, but we must receive your updated account information); your distribution service is terminated by Eversource; you do not pay for New England Wind for 3 billing cycles or more; or if Mass Energy, in its sole discretion, terminates your participation in the program for any reason.

You may decide to opt out of the New England Wind program at any time. There is no termination fee for discontinuing participation as a New England Wind customer, and no interest will accrue on arrearages. However, arrearages are expected to be paid in full. If you opt out of Mass Energy’s program, you will continue your current status as an Eversource customer.  If you decide to opt out of the program by contacting Mass Energy, the termination will become effective immediately as long as you are not due to be billed on the day you successfully cancel, or on the business day following a weekend or holiday you initiate the cancellation.

Are there any penalties for not paying my New England Wind?

It is the policy of Mass Energy that if you do not pay your New England Wind payments for three or more consecutive billing periods, Mass Energy, in its sole discretion, may terminate your participation in the program. No additional penalties will apply, and arrearages are expected to be paid in full. Mass Energy reserves the right, after 60 days, to refer any non-payment matter to an appropriate outside agency for collection.

What other fees apply?

You are not required to make any other payments as a condition for choosing to participate in or cancelling this program. 

Are there any other contract details that I should be aware of?

Limits on Warranty and Damages:  You understand and agree that there are no warranties, either express or implied, associated with this offer or the program sold hereunder.  Mass Energy will bear no liability to the customer or any third party for consequential, punitive, incidental, special, or other indirect damages.

Entire Agreement:   This Agreement, including the Disclosure Statement attached as Exhibit A, constitutes the entire agreement between you and Mass Energy and supersedes all prior oral or written agreements or understandings relating to the provision of service to you by Mass Energy.

Indemnification:  You agree that you will be responsible for all damages or expenses that are caused by your failure to comply with this Agreement, and that you will hold harmless Mass Energy and its representatives for any claims that result, either directly or indirectly, from your failure to fulfill your obligations under this Agreement. This means that you, and not Mass Energy, will be responsible for paying any claims or damages that are caused by any failure of yours to comply with this Agreement.

Notices:  All communications required under this Agreement will be sent to you at the billing address you submitted during registration. All communications you send to Mass Energy must be sent to the address or email address listed above.

Dispute Resolution: To the extent that the DPU chooses to exercise jurisdiction, the provisions of 220 CMR 25.02(4) apply to this Agreement.  For more information on 220 CMR 25.02(4), go to

http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/docs/dtc/telecom/billingandtermination/agoreply-comments91611.pdf.

If the DPU declines to become involved in any disputes involving this Agreement, including any billing disputes, you and Mass Energy agree to first use your best efforts to resolve any dispute through informal negotiations. The period for informal negotiations will not exceed fourteen days from the time the dispute arises, unless agreed to in writing. A dispute will be considered to have arisen when you send Mass Energy a written notice identifying the basis of the dispute. If the dispute cannot be resolved by informal negotiations, you agree to submit the dispute to mediation. You may choose a mediator from a list of neutral and qualified mediators provided to you by Mass Energy. If you cannot agree to a listed mediator, the American Arbitration Association, Boston, Massachusetts, will appoint a mediator. Once the mediator is appointed, the time of the mediation will not exceed sixty days, unless agreed to in writing. You and Mass Energy will each pay your own costs of the mediation. If mediation does not resolve the dispute, you or Mass Energy may file a lawsuit in any court having jurisdiction located in Suffolk County (Boston). You agree that any disputes under this Agreement will be governed by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.