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Guide Contract summary form

Competitive suppliers, electricity brokers, and gas retail agents must submit a contract summary form to residential consumers at the point of sale.

Table of Contents

1. Distributing the contract summary form

Starting September 8, 2020 you must provide a contract summary form to all new electric and gas residential customers that you enroll.  You must provide the contract summary form in the following way(s):

  • for in-person enrollment: (1) orally, and (2) a hard copy should be left with the customer with the contract/terms of service.
  • for telephone enrollments: (1) orally, and (2) a copy should be mailed or emailed to the customer with the contract/terms of service.
  • for online enrollments: a copy should be mailed or emailed to the customer with the contract/terms of service.

2. Format

The text on the contract summary form must be a minimum of 14-point font size.  You must place the company name and logo at the top of the contract summary form.  If your logo includes your company name, the logo suffices.  The gas and electric contract summaries, below are two examples regarding what the contract summary should look like.   

Additional Resources for 2. Format

3. Submitting the contract summary for DPU review

Below, the DPU includes the language you must use in the contract summary form for each category.  The text in bold indicates where you must select the appropriate language or fill in the information.  You may need to submit language for DPU review in some instances.  To submit language for DPU review, you must email the completed contract summary to:

  • dpu.electricsupply@mass.gov for electric contract summaries
  • dpu.gassupply@mass.gov for gas contract summaries

Our review may take up to 10 business days.  If you do not hear from us you may use the contract summary form that you submitted.

4. Product information

A. Price

  • For fixed-price products with only a volumetric charge:

[xx] cents per [kWh/therm].  This does not include the price that your [electric/gas] utility will charge you for the delivery component of your [electric/gas] service.

  • For fixed-price products with (1) a monthly charge, and (2) a volumetric charge.

$[xx] per month plus [xx] cents per [kWh/therm].  This does not include the price that your [electric/gas] utility will charge you for the delivery component of your [electric/gas] service.

  • For products that have a price that changes over the term of the contract, suppliers must submit the language to the DPU for review.

B. Term

  • For fixed-price products with a set contract term:

The above price will remain constant for [xx] months.

  • For products that do not have a set contract term, suppliers must submit the language to the DPU for review.

C. Enrollment fee

  • For products with an enrollment fee:

The product includes a one‑time enrollment fee of $[xx]

  • For products that do not have an enrollment fee, suppliers should remove this category from the contract summary form.

D. Early cancellation fee

  • For a fixed early cancellation fee:

If you cancel your contract prior to the end of its term, you will be charged a fee of $[xx].

  • For a variably early cancellation fee:

If you cancel your contract prior to the end of its term, you will be charged a fee of $[xx] per month remaining on the contract.

  • If there is no cancellation fee:

There is no cancellation fee if you cancel your contract prior to the end of its term.

  • For products that have an early cancellation fee structure other than those specified above, suppliers must submit the language to the DPU for review.

E. Other fees

  • For products that have a fee other than an enrollment or early cancellation fee, suppliers must submit the language to the DPU for review.  For products that do not include other fees, suppliers should remove this category from the contract summary form.

F. Automatic renewal / End of contract term

  • For products with an automatic renewal provision, suppliers should use the title "Automatic renewal" and use the following language:

Your contract will automatically renew to a new price at the end of the contract term unless you inform [Supplier Name] otherwise.  The new price may be higher or lower than the existing price.  [Supplier Name] will contact you no later than 30 days before each automatic renewal to notify you of your supply options.

  • For electric products that do not have an automatic renewal provision, suppliers should title the category "End of contract term" and use the following language:

[Supplier Name] will place you on your electric utility’s basic service at the end of the contract term unless you choose an alternate supply option.

  • For gas products that do not include an automatic renewal provision, suppliers should title the category "End of contract term" and use the following language:

[Supplier Name] will place you on your gas utility’s supply service at the end of the contract term unless you choose an alternate supply option.

G. Renewable energy content

  • For electric products that meet the state's minimum renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requirement: 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires that all electric supply products include a minimum of [mandatory minimum RPS compliance percentage]% renewable energy resources.  This product meets the minimum requirement.

  • For electric products that include renewable energy content beyond the state minimum RPS requirement:

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires that all electric supply products include a minimum of [mandatory minimum RPS compliance percentage]% renewable energy resources.  This product includes [xx]% renewable energy resources, an amount that exceeds the minimum requirement.

  • When calculating the minimum RPS compliance percentage, suppliers should use the following components of the RPS requirements: 
  1. Clean energy standard (including RPS Class I)
  2. RPS Class II renewable energy and
  3. RPS Class II waste-to-energy.

Suppliers should not include:

  1. Alternative energy portfolio standard, and
  2. clean peak energy portfolio standard.

In 2020, the minimum RPS requirement is equal to 26.7% (20% for the clean energy standard, 3.2% for the RPS Class II renewable energy, and 3.5% for the RPS Class II waste-to-energy).  After rounding this percentage to the nearest round number, the contract summary form for 2020 should say 27%.  Suppliers that want to include additional language regarding a product's voluntary renewable energy content must submit the contract summary form to the DPU for review.  Suppliers should use the percentage that applies to the calendar year in which the contract summary form is provided to consumers.

H. Other products and services

  • For products that include any additional incentives, such as promotional products or carbon offsets, suppliers must submit the contract summary form to the DPU for review.  The description of the incentives should be in plain language.  For products that do not include additional incentives, suppliers should remove this category from the contract summary form

5. General information

A. Introductory language

  • The top of the document should state:

[Supplier Name][Electric/Gas] Supply Contract Summary

You have purchased an [electric/gas] supply product from [Supplier Name].  Your [electric/gas] utility will continue to deliver the [electricity/gas] you use to your home.

B. Rescission period

  • The rescission period language should state:

You have 3 days to cancel this contract free of charge from the time you receive your contract and terms and conditions. 

C. Competitive supplier and distribution company information

  • Under the category competitive supplier information, the language should state:

[Supplier Name], DPU license number: [DPU license number], [telephone number], [website][Supplier Name] is only responsible for the [electric generation/gas supply] portion of your bill.

  • Under the category electric/gas utility information, the language should state:

[Name of Electric/Gas Distribution Company] will continue to deliver the [electricity/gas] that you use in your home and is responsible for the delivery charges that appear on your monthly bill.  If you have questions about the delivery portion of your bill, contact [Name of Electric/Gas Distribution Company] at [telephone number], or by visiting its website at [website].

D. Statement by the DPU

  • For electric products, the language should state:

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities recommends that consumers visit the Energy Switch website to view the broad range of available electric supply products, including your electric utility’s basic service price.  You can visit the website at http://energyswitchma.gov.

  • For gas products, the language should state:

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities recommends that consumers visit the Gas Division website to view the current gas supply rates offered by their gas utility.  You can visit the website at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/cost-of-gas-adjustment-factor-rates-and-information.

E. Basic service

TBD

Image credits:  Shutterstock
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