Freedom Energy Newsletter | June 2024

Massachusetts Utility Account Number Changes

Several Massachusetts utilities have recently conducted upgrades to their customer information systems that have resulted account number changes for their customers. Although meant to be a seamless process, when a utility changes their account numbers, it can cause disruptions for customers if they are currently pricing, contracting, or waiting for their accounts to enroll with a supplier.

Usually, the process for a utility changing account numbers begins with a notification from the utility to the customer letting them know that account number changes are coming. These notices are oftentimes included as bill inserts the month prior and can easily be missed or forgotten by the time the account numbers actually do change. The utility will then conduct a blackout period where they will put a freeze on Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) transactions while they work on updating the account numbers. These EDI transactions are how information is shared by the utility and suppliers and are the mechanism used when accounts are enrolled, dropped, billing changes are made, or historical usage information from the utility is transferred. Once the blackout period is complete, EDI transactions can resume, and the customer will have a new account number. In most cases there will be follow-up communication from the utility to the customer letting them know they have a new account number assigned and what that new account number is.

Below is a list of utilities in Massachusetts that have recently undergone account number changes and some information about the changes that were made to the account numbers:

  • Eversource-Western MA (Electric):
    • Blackout Period: 1/31/2024 through 2/4/2024
    • Effective Date of Account Number Changes: 2/5/2024
    • Account Number Changes: The 11-digit Billing Account (BA) and 9-digit Service Reference Number (SA), making a combined 20-digit BA_SA combination, were replaced with new numbers. The BA was replaced by an 11-digit Contract Account (CA) and SA Number was replaced by an 8-digit PODID.
  • National Grid MA (Gas):
    • Blackout Period: 5/17/2024 through 5/27/2024
    • Effective Date of Account Number Changes: 5/28/2024
    • Account Number Changes: The old 10-digit account numbers were converted to new 10-digit account numbers. The new 10-digit account number will also be 10-digits long but will no longer contain numeric identifiers indicating if they were part of the former Keyspan utilities that were acquired by National Grid many years ago (Boston, Colonial, and Essex utilities).
  • Eversource-Eastern MA (Gas):
    • Blackout Period: 5/29/2024 through 6/4/2024
    • Effective Date of Account Number Changes: 6/5/2024
    • Account Number Changes: The current 11-digit account number format was replaced by a new 11-digit account number in a format starting with a “73” at the beginning of the account number. By contrast, the current Eversource Gas of Massachusetts account numbers (formerly Columbia Gas of Massachusetts and before that Baystate Gas) start with a 71.
  • Eversource-Eastern MA (Electric):
    • Blackout Period: 5/29/2024 through 6/4/2024
    • Effective Date of Account Number Changes: 6/5/2024
    • Account Number Changes: The current 11-digit account numbers were replaced with Contract Accounts (CAs) that are 11-digits and an 8-digit PODID number was also added.

If you have been impacted by one of the recent account number changes and may just be finding out about it, you can log into your online account with the utility and see what information is available to you about your new account number(s). It is always a good idea to grab the new account numbers and pass them to your energy advisor or broker to make sure they have them so that customer service for your accounts can remain fluid. This is especially important for customers that have deals where they are changing suppliers in the future as the account numbers used to contract may no longer be active and the supplier may not have a way to get the new ones without the customer pushing those new account numbers to them.

If you would like any more information regarding the changes mentioned, please reach out to your Freedom Energy account representative for additional information.

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Meet the Writer

Dan Cwalinski
Freedom Energy Logistics
Director of Contracts and Pricing

Dan Cwalinski, Director of Contracts and Pricing at Freedom Energy, has over 17 years of experience in restructured energy markets, focusing on brokerage. He collaborates with sales teams and clients, negotiates supplier agreements, and coordinates pricing and contracting operations. Dan’s expertise in deregulated energy markets and his role in managing the company’s supplier network make him a key player in the industry, having saved clients hundreds of millions of dollars through strategic energy supply contracts.

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