The Taunton Gazette reports that a plan endorsed by nearly 20 communities and over 180,000 residents in southeastern Massachusetts to jointly procure electricity has hit a major roadblock. The Attleboro Sun Chronicle reported that National Grid customers in the area would automatically be enrolled beginning in November when new prices take effect – though they would have the option not to participate in the program. The Southeast Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD) and energy consultants Good Energy estimate the municipal aggregation plan could save the average residential customer $80 to $140 per year – a total of $14.7 million among the communities.
However, after meeting with representatives of the Department of Energy Resources, representatives from SRPEDD were dismayed when they found that under state law all the communities would need to sign a collective agreement with Good Energy to manage the procurement. Good Energy would then need to solicit bids and have a contract in place with the winning bidder prior to November, when National Grid’s winter rates take effect. To meet that timeline, the consultant hopes to issue a solicitation in September, and it is unclear whether the communities will all be able to sign an aggregation contract by then.