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History of National Grid in Massachusetts

The company traces its origins back to 1906, when Malcolm Chace and Henry Harriman obtained charters from Vermont and New Hampshire to construct a dam and hydroelectric generating plant at Vernon, Vermont. The two men expanded their hydroelectric operations throughout New England, setting up the New England Power Company to run hydroelectric projects and electricity transmission lines in Massachusetts. The company later reorganized into the New England Power System. In 1926, it joined with the Northeastern Power Corporation, Stone & Webster, and International Paper Company to form the New England Power Association (NEPA). By 1930, the company controlled 43 generating plants and more than 2,000 miles of transmission lines.

After WWII, NEPA reorganized into the New England Electric System (NEES), becoming the largest electric utility system in New England and serving 2.5 million customers. Its subsidiaries included the Narragansett Electric Company and the Granite State Electric Company. In 1961, NEES merged a number of small electric companies to form the Massachusetts Electric Company which it used in its retail operations.

Through the 1960s NEES pared down its generator plants so that by 1970 it only ran 13 hydroelectric plants and 8 oil-burning steam-generating plants. By the mid-1970s, oil fueled 78% of NEES's generation output and to cut costs, the utility converted these plants to coal and also built 7 nuclear power plants. In the 1980s, it began switching its coal generators to natural gas to cut costs.

When Massachusetts opened its retail electricity market to competition in 1998, NEES had already restructured to focus on power distribution and sold off its non-nuclear generators. Coincidently, that very year the British-based National Grid began acquiring NEES, completing its take over in March, 2000.

Today, National Grid in Massachusetts focuses on reducing the causes and impact of climate change as well as promoting the local environment around their operational sites. The company supports their employees and their initiatives for inclusion and diversity in the community as well as the delivery of energy efficiency and alleviating fuel poverty. National Grid in Massachusetts has partnerships with the New England Aquarium, Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod, is proud to be a major supporter of the United Way and Junior Achievement.

National Grid Service Territory

Shop National Grid National Grid Cheap Rates

National Grid over 1.2 million electricity customers in 168 cities and towns across Massachusetts:

East Bridgewater
East Brookfield
East Longmeadow
Fall River
Great Barrington
Mount Washington
New Braintree
New Marlborough
New Salem
North Adams
North Andover
North Brookfield
West Bridgewater
West Brookfield
West Newbury
West Stockbridge
and Nantucket Island

National Grid serves these cities in Massachusetts:

Brockton Fall River Lowell Lynn Worcester

Shop for National Grid electricity suppliers in your area.

Compare National Grid Electricity Rates

Compare alternative supplier electricity rates
in the National Grid service area.

  1. Enter zip code.
  2. Select energy type.
  3. Choose "residential" or "business".
  4. Click "Shop for Rates".

You'll then get to see the listing of all the energy suppliers' plans available in your area, along with rates, term lengths, and links to more detail information.

Some Massachusetts utilities service territories overlap in some areas. If the tool reports that it has found more than one serving your zip code, don't worry! Just choose your local utility from those listed.

How to Start New National Grid Service

Starting electricity service with National Grid is fast and easy. Just visit the National Grid web site and click on Start Service to get started.

Customers can also call the utility's Contact Center to set up service.

Be ready to supply:

  • Service Address: The address where you want your service turned on or switched.
  • The start date for electricity service. National Grid requests 5-7 days advance notice to schedule a crew member to visit your home and physically turn on your service.
  • Personal Information: You will need your name, phone number, email address, SSN OR driver's license number, and date of birth. Commercial customers should be ready with their tax ID number.
  • Unfrozen Credit: If you have frozen your credit with any of the major credit agencies, you will need to have it temporarily unfrozen.

Will I Need to Pay a Deposit?

Massachusetts utilities can not require a deposit to secure payment of utility bills in advance of or as a condition to new or continued residential service.

However, if you owe an electric or gas company money from a previous address, the utility can refuse to set up a new account at your new address for you unless you pay the full amount owed or arrange a payment plan.

Understand National Grid Distribution and Supply Charges

In Massachusetts, your electric bill is composed of the electricity Distribution charges and the Supply charges.

Distribution Charges mainly consists of a flat customer charge per account and a distribution charge in cents per kWh for delivering electricity across the utility's local grid to a customer's home. However, it does contain other surcharges and fees. Excluding Nantucket Island, as of 2021, National Grid MA distribution charges break down this way:

  • Customer Charge: $7.00 per month
  • Distribution Charge: 7.963¢ per kWh
  • Transition Charge: -0.104¢ per kWh
  • Transmission Charge: 3.858¢ per kWh
  • Energy Effciency Charge: 3.858¢ per kWh
  • Distributed Solar Charge: 1.729¢ per kWh
  • Electric Vehicle Prog. Charge: 0.315¢ per kWh
  • Renewable Energy Charge: 0.050¢ per kW

Note that each charge is multiplied by the usage and then added together.

All National Grid's Massachusetts residential customers pay the same distribution rate no matter who supplies their electricity. Delivery rates change twice each year (on November 1 and May 1) and the amount depends on several factors. Rates are also subject to change at the discretion of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU).

Electricity Supply Charges represent the cost for the electricity supplied in kWh by your utility or a retail supplier. Energy Choice charges from "alternative" or retail suppliers are listed on your bill under "Charges from Electric Generation Supplier".

What is the National Grid Basic Supply Rate?

National Grid's Basic Supply Rate is a DPU-approved default rate for electricity generation supply if you don't want to shop for retail supplier. Also called the "Price to Compare" or PTC, this rate is a pass-through and represents the actual price National Grid pays for the electricity.

National Grid Fixed and Variable Rates

National Grid offers two kinds of electricity default supply rate plans: a six month fixed rate and a monthly variable rate. Rate strucutres for these are updated on November 1 and then again on May 1.

The company puts all residential Massachusetts customers on a fixed rate when they first open their account. Of course, you may choose the monthly variable rate, however you can only do this once. But be careful because National Grid's monthly variable rate will change each month to reflect the actual cost of electricity purchased each month.

While the 6 month fixed rate offers some protection from swinging prices and sustained inflation, longer term fixed rate plans offered by retail energy suppliers can yield better savings and are easier to budget for over the long haul.

The price National Grid pays breaks down into two principal pieces. First is the cost for the generated electricity. This is set during periodic supply auctions. The other piece is the cost of transmitting that generated high volatge electricity over the bulk power line grid to National Grid's substation transformers for local distribution. Bulk transmission charges must be approved by the Massachusetts DPU.

Periodic auctions for residential generation supply are held about usually twice a year. Rate periods can vary but can be broadly divided into summer and winter pricing.

  • Because National Grid's "fixed" Basic Supply Rate rate changes every 6 months, customers can use the Basic Supply Rate to compare prices with energy retailer plans to see which offers them better value for their needs.
  • Plus, because Basic Supply Rate rates are usually announced 12 months in advance, customers can also compare long term plan prices from retailers to save even more.

The Current National Grid Basic Supply Rate Rate

    Residential rate:

    18.213 cents per kWh in National Grid MA, expires 9/30/2024

NOTE -- In Massachusetts, there are about 50 municipally-owned electric companies with local "municipal light plants" that provide electricity to their citizens. These local companies determine their own rates and many prohibit residents from shopping for their own provider.

Which Costs More? National Grid Basic Supply Rate vs Energy Choice

The EIA estimates that the average Massachusetts monthly usage rate is around 596 kWh. So, in November, 2022, the average National Grid PTC bill roughly breaks down like this:

Rate per 596 kWh Used Monthly Customer Charge Total
PTC Supply Rate 18.213 cents 0 $108.55
Monthly Distribution Charges Distribution Charge $0.07963 x 596 kWh Used = $47.54
Transmission Charge $0.03858¢ x 596 kWh Used = $22.99
Energy Effciency Charge $0.03858¢ x 596 kWh = $22.99 Used
Total = $93.52
--does not include all other surcharges shown above.
$7.00 $100.52
Total Bill $209.07

Understand Massachusetts Energy Choice

Massachusetts's electricity customers are free to choose a state certified retail electricity supplier. There are many different providers in National Grid service area offering a variety of plans at competitive rates.

Certified retail suppliers compete with each other to buy cheap electricity on the wholesale markets so they can attract more consumers with the lowest rates. That way, residents can compare and shop to find the best deal that best suits for their needs. For this reason, Massachusetts retail electricity supplier rates are not controlled by DPU. While shopping for electricity may seem confusing, customers can use their utility's PTC to compare offers by certified retail electricity suppliers. This way you can more easily judge which are the cheapest rates.

Shopping for the right electricity plan at the right rate is generally a straightforward process. But not everyone has the same needs. And while retail electricity suppliers in Massachusetts also provide fixed rate and variable rate plans, they are able to offer many more variations and incentives that better fit customer needs.

  • Fixed Electricity Rates are just plans where the price rate for the electricity doesn't change over the term of the contract. Different retail suppliers offer term plans from 3 to 36 months, meaning customers can count on stability and predictable monthly bills for months or years, depending on their preferences. However, early cancellation fees for breaking a contract could apply.

  • Variable Rates Don't want to commit to an electricity plan for months or years? You can choose a variable plan. Variable plan rates on these contracts can change from month to month depending on the price of electricity. So your rate could go up one month or down the next. However, these plans don't have any termination fees and this allows customers the flexibility to shop for new rates and switch to better deals without paying any penalty.
  • Understand Your National Grid Electric Usage

    Your National Grid usage affects your energy bills.

    While your electricity usage habits are unique to you, any Massachusetts native will tell you that winters can get chilly and snowy while summers can get hot and miserably humid.

  • Nearly one fifth (17%) of Massachusetts homes use electricity for space heating.
  • About 20% of homes in New England have air conditioning. In Massachusetts, residents use an average of 5% of their total annual energy costs for air conditioning.
  • The remainder of eletricity use goes to refrigeration, lighting, electronics, clothes dryers, and small appliances.
  • Not sure how much electricity you really use? National Grid customers can find a record of their usage for the past 13 months on their monthly bill. Customers can also download their usage information from their National Grid account.

    The best way to cut your electricity bill is to reduce your usage:

  • Install a programmable or smart thermostat. Programming it to set-back the temperature when you're away or inactive can improve your home's energy efficiency and help cut your electric bills.
  • Seal your doors and windows against winter and summer drafts. Not only does it keep out the cold or hot air but it also reduces the amount of mold, pollen, and other allergens getting into your home.
  • Add insulation to your attic, basement, and duct work.

  • Your utility company can provide a wealth of resources and offers programs to help you improve your home's energy performance.

    Understanding Your National Grid Bill

    Your National Grid bill comes packed full with lots of information. Though these can be confusing to customers, they also help you better understand your usage and rate. Here is where we break down the most important items on a sample National Grid electric bill.

    Understand Page One of Your Monthly National Grid National Grid Bill

    Understand Page Two of Your Monthly National Grid National Grid Bill distribution charge

    • A: Bill Overview. It states your name, the service address, and 10 digit account number with National Grid. It shows the date National Grid issued the bill (typical billing period runs between 27 and 33 days) and the date the bill is due.

    • B: Account Balance. This section summarizes the previous balance, any payments received, and any amounts that are past the due date for both National Grid distribution services and your energy supplier. It also shows the current amount due and the total amount due.

    • C: Electricity Usage History. This little section shows your electric usage history in kWh for the past 13 months. It also compares daily usage averages for the current month vs last year. You can use this graph to see when you used the most energy and plan in advance.

    • D: Delivery Services. This section summarizes the National Grid's delivery charges

    • E: Delivery Charge details. This breaks down the subcharges, fees, and other amounts you are being billed for National Grid's delivery charges.

    • F:Bill Stub. This section shows your mailing address, National Grid account number, the total due for this bill, and provides a space to write the amount closed. You can detach this stub and mail it into National Grid with your payment.

    • Page Two

    • G: Bill Overview. Used here to summarize your account information.

    • H: Enrollment information. This section contains information you need to provide when you switch to a retail electricity provider. You will need to supply your 10 digit National Grid account number and "load zone" information. Below this, you can see your monthly electric usage history for the past 13 months. This is invaluable because it can help you estimate how much a supplier's rate can cost you.

    • I: Supply Service. Here you'll find the name, address, and contact information for your electricty supplier. This could be National Grid if you are signed up for basic service or a retail electricity supplier.

    • J: General Billing Terms Summary. Breaks down what differeent abbreviations mean as well as what the different types of charges are.

    National Grid Coupons, Energy Promotions, Discounts, Rebates and Promo Codes

    As your local utility, National Grid offers few options and discounts available to help its customers save some money. Some programs offer money-saving incentives while others could make paying your monthly bills easier and may even help you qualify for a discounted electricity rate.

    Program Name Program Type Benefit
    Appliance and HVAC Rebates Program Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

    Massachusetts residential customers of National Grid can now take advantage of rebates on the purchase of ENERGY STAR® certified appliances and HVAC systems.

    • Appliances include energy-saving air purifiers, dehumidifiers, water heater, washers, dryers, and more with rebates from $30 to $500.
    • Get up to $15,000 when you upgrade to high efficiency heat pumps, boilers, furnaces, and water heaters through the Mass Save Program.
    Appliance Recylcing Program Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

    National Grid MA has teamed up wth MassSave to help recycle your old working fridge or freezer. You'll get $75 plus you can also receive a $30 rebate for an old, working dehumidifiers unit if picked up along with a qualifying fridge or freezer. Plus, you can save money on your electricity bill when you purchase a new ENERGY STAR® appliance to replace it.

    • Must be an electric customer of National Grid.
    • You must own the appliance(s)
    • Refrigerators and freezers must be 10 to 30 cu. ft. in size, empty, clean and free of mold, and operating (cooling) at the time of the scheduled pickup.
    Energy Efficient New Homes Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

    National Grid is working closely with Massachusetts builders and Mass Save to construct energy-efficient homes that deliver more than just energy savings.

    Participants enroll with HERS (Home Energy Rating System) companies.

    National Grid offers incentives for high-efficiency heating and cooling, water heating, lighting, and more. Incentives range based on energy efficiency requirements, the home's performance, and overall energy savings.

    National Grid encourages participants to build new homes that meet ENERGY STAR® certification when practical. An energy-efficient home is one that is 30% more efficient than a code-built home (2009 IECC).

    Home Energy Assessment Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

    National Grid customers can sign up for an online Home Energy Assessment or schedule an in-person visit with an Energy Specialist. You'll receive an energy report tailored specifically to your home and receive energy-saving products delivered free to your home. If you choose the visit, an Energy Specialist will:

    • Inspect your home and identify areas where you may be wasting energy
    • Install energy-saving products at no additional cost.
    • Make recommendations for upgrades that can save energy and qualify for rebates.

    Historical program participation data suggests the average value of home weatherization installation for National Grid MA customers is over $4,000!
    Based on their assessment, customers may be eligible 75-100% off approved insulation and no-cost air sealing and rebates of up to $2,750 on qualifying energy-efficient heating, cooling and water-heating equipment.
    You can also learn how to qualify for a 0% interest loan for eligible energy-efficiency improvements.

    National Grid Payment Arrangements Bill payment assistance

    The Forgiveness Program (or Arrears Management Program) help National Grid customers who substantially fall behind in paying their bills.

    • To be eligible, your current account balance is $300 or more and at least 60 days overdue; your income falls at or below 60 percent of the estimated state median income.
    • As long as you make your monthly payments on time, your service will continue uninterrupted for the duration of your plan. Part of your past due amount may be forgiven
    • Payment amounts are based on the amount of the balance and the average of your regular monthly bill.
    • Contact customer service or sign up online.
    More Time to Pay Bill payment assistance

    You can apply for a payment extension if you can't pay your bill on time. Extensions of 1 to 3 weeks area available and require a down payment of the total amount due. Payments can be spread out for up to two months.

    Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Bill payment assistance

    Also known as the Fuel Assistance program. If your gross income is at or below 60 percent of the state median income, you may qualify for assistance toward your utility bills.

    To apply, contact your local Community Action Agency.

    Energy Efficiency for Lower Income Customers Residential Energy Efficiency

    Income-Eligible Energy Savings Program is designed to ensure you and your family benefit from a home that??™s healthier, more comfortable, and more affordable. It all starts with a no-cost Home Energy Assessment.

    National Grid customer who complete the energy-efficiency assessment will recieve no-cost energy efficiency improvements to reduce their energy bill, including programmable thermostats, LED bulbs, advanced power strips and more. Additonal follow-up appointments could include no-cost services for insulation, air sealing, weather stripping, and others.

    Just sign up at MassSave or your local Community Action Program (CAP) agency.

    National Grid Discount Rate Bill payment assistance

    Customers may be eligible for the National Grid Discount Rate if they are residential customer, have the utility bill in their name, have a household income that meets eligibility requirements, and receives one of the benefits listed on the Electric Discount Rate Application.

    For additional information, contact your local Community Action Agency.

    Good Neighbor Energy Fund Bill payment assistance

    The Good Neighbor Energy Fund is a cooperative effort between sponsoring Massachusetts energy companies and caring neighbors throughout the Commonwealth. The helps residents in temporary crisis who are struggling to pay their energy bills and do not qualify for federal or state energy funds.

    The program is overseen by The Salvation Army of Massachusetts. National Grid customers can help by contributing via the "Give the Gift of Warmth" donation envelopes which are included in monthly electricity bills or by going to

    National Grid Reviews

    Because National Grid serves a large-sized market, knowing how well it ranks among other similar-sized utilities can tell you a lot about how well it serves its customers. National Grid is not accredited with the BBB but the utility was in the top ten eastern utilities in Escalent's 2021 Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential study. However, it ranked below average in J.D. Power's 2021 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study.

    MA Energy Ratings Better Business Bureau Escalent 2021 Utility Study J.D. Power 2021
    N/A Not accredited,
    A- rating
    of 1000 pts
    of 1000 pts

    How do I get the Cheapest National Grid Rate?

    Shopping for a new Energy Choice Plan can feel confusing at first. But, there are 3 things you should have with you when you shop for electricity:

    1. The current National Grid Basic Supply Rate rate and expiration date. You can use National Grid Basic Supply Rate to quickly compare retail supplier offers to shop for a better electricity rate. You can choose the utility's rate but remember that it changes every 6 months.
    2. Your current bill. Your past usage per billing period can help you estimate a how much a plan might cost you each month. Also, if the National Grid rate will increase after 6 months, you can estimate your potential savings with a longer term plan over time.
    3. Your National Grid account number. Your 10 digit account number is at the top of your bill. Having this handy lets you sign up with an alternative electricity supplier right away.

    Before you start shopping, there's some final last details you also need to understand ahead of time:

    Who bills me? National Grid sends a single bill that outlines and add up your monthly charges.

    What are the Terms of Service? The Terms of Service explain and identify specific charges and any fees a customer will face when they sign up for an electricity plan. Many suppliers offer different rates for plans with different term lengths. All Massachusetts electricity customers should read and understand the terms of service and contract summary for any plan they are interested in before they sign on to the plan.

    What are early termination fees? Switching retail suppliers before a contract ends can involve paying early termination fees. These can bite you if you want to switch retail providers before your electricity plan contract ends.

    Read National Grid Customer Reviews

    Compare Massachusetts Electricity Rates in Your Area

    Electricity Out? Wires Down? Here's Who You Contact...

    Having a problem with your electricity service? Here's the proper people to call:

    National Grid Billing Problems

    If you have trouble paying your monthly bill call National Grid's Customer Service (M-F 7:00am - 7:00pm) at:


    You can learn what options are available. Be sure to have your account number ready. You can also apply for payment methods online through your National Grid account.

    Consider the Budget Billing Plan: If you are constantly blind-sided by seasonally high bills, National Grid's Budget Billing spreads your costs evenly month to month by charging a pre-arranged amount with each bill. This ensures that customers aren't presented with unexpectedly high bills at peak-usuage times of the year.

    In the Dark?

    You can report outages or downed powerlines in your area by calling:
    National Grid's 24-Hour Assistance at 1-800-465-1212.

    You can also report an outage on-line..

    All power transmission lines are extremely dangerous!

    Never attempt to move a downed power line by yourself. Call 911 and then notifiy National Grid's Customer Service!

    What!? There's still no power?

    You can track outage repairs throughout National Grid service area on this map.

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