Municipal leaders from across southeastern Massachusetts announced the launch of a regional Community Electricity Aggregation program on November 10. The program is anticipated to enable participating residents and businesses to significantly reduce electricity rates – by as much as $15 million this winter, compared to Eversource and National Grid utility billing – through a bulk-purchasing contract.
Under the new contract, effective January 2016, the rate for electricity supply will be fixed for 24 months at $0.0949 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Eligible accounts will be automatically enrolled, unless they choose to refuse during a 30-day opt-out period. There will be no early termination fees at any time for those who wish to leave this new program, as compared to many other competitive supply offers that do include early termination fees.
Spiking utility costs over the last two winters have placed a real burden on household budgets,” said New Bedford, Massachusetts, Mayor Jon Mitchell. “New Bedford and the other participating communities have worked closely with [the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD)] and consultant Good Energy, to secure a fixed-term contract that will help to protect area residents and businesses from future spikes in electricity prices.”
Cooperating with the SRPEDD, 23 communities in the region succeeded in using their combined purchasing power to establish new power rates – among them, Acushnet, Attleboro, Carver, Dartmouth, Dedham, Dighton, Douglas, Dracut, Fairhaven, Fall River, Freetown, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Northbridge, Norton, Plainville, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Somerset, Swansea, Westford, and Westport – for a combined 225,000 eligible households and businesses.
Ross Perry, director of Municipal Management at SRPEDD said, “We started looking into this last year and managed to get through the regulatory approvals process in record time. We had a lot of support and guidance from state elected officials, the Department of Energy Resources, and the Department of Public Utilities – and we’re very excited to get the program underway in time for January winter rates.”