Electric service overview

A brief explanation of the supply and delivery components of your electric service.

Introduction

Your electric service consists of two components:

  1. supply component, consisting of the production and sale of electricity that you use; and
  2. delivery component, consisting of the transportation of electricity to your home or business. The delivery component also includes metering, billing, and customer service.

Historically you had no choice but to receive your electric service (i.e., both supply and delivery) from your electric utility company. While you must continue to purchase the delivery component of your electric service from your electric utility company, you may now choose a competitive supplier to provide your electric supply.

Supply

The supply component of your electric service has a wholesale and a retail component. 

  • The wholesale component is associated with the electric power plants in the region that generate the electricity you use.  Generation companies (companies not associated with regulated electric utility companies) own and operate the majority of power plants in New England.   These power plants are part of a regional electric “grid” overseen by the Independent System Operator of New England (ISO-NE).  ISO-NE oversees:
    • the day-to-day operation of the regional power grid,
    • the regional power system planning process, and
    • the region’s competitive wholesale electricity markets.  

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates the wholesale component of your electric service at the federal level.

  • The retail component of electric supply service involves selling you electricity.  You may buy supply products from competitive suppliers licensed by the DPU or basic service from your electric utility company.  The DPU oversees the retail supply component of our electric service
Supply service Wholesale Retail
Service composed of power plants

competitive supplier supply product
your electric utility's company's basic service

Regulatory oversight

ISO-NE / FERC

Department of Public Utilities

Delivery

Delivery service also has a wholesale and a retail component. 

  • The wholesale component is associated with high-voltage transmission facilities that transport electricity from power plants to your electric company's service territory.  These facilities and electric power plants, are part of the regional power grid overseen by ISO-NE, and regulated at the federal level by FERC.  
  • The retail component of delivery service is associated with lower-voltage distribution facilities that transport electricity within your electric company's service territory to your home or business.  The retail component of delivery service also includes metering which tracks your electricity use, billing, and customer service.  The DPU regulates retail delivery service provided by the electric utility companies.
Supply service Wholesale Retail
Service composed of transmission facilities

electric distribution / metering facilities

Regulatory oversight

ISO-NE / FERC

Department of Public Utilities

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