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Monday, November 25 2013

DOER Greenlights Greenfield Community Light & Power

This just in from a Greenfield Mayor's Office press release:

Greenfield’s municipal aggregation plan is one step closer to bringing green electricity to utility customers, having just received approval from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER).  “We are grateful for DOER’s review and approval, and look forward to bringing a new era of electricity purchasing to Greenfield to benefit the community,” said Mayor William Martin.  Municipal aggregation is a form of group purchasing in which a city or town arranges electricity supply for its citizens and can create benefits in the form of choices for customers, greener power, and cost savings.

Greenfield has contracted with renowned energy consulting firm Peregrine Energy Group to develop an innovative municipal aggregation plan, and Peregrine CEO and Founder Paul Gromer attended this month’s Town Council Meeting on November 20 to join the Mayor in giving an update to the Council.

Given its complicated nature, there is a lengthy process by which communities become approved to implement a municipal aggregation program, and Greenfield has now entered the final phase, which is approval from the Department of Public Utilities (DPU).  “We anticipate DPU approval in Spring 2014 and will be mailing each utility customer the details at that time, in addition to hosting public hearings,” explained Mayor Martin.  “Each customer will have the choice to participate in the aggregation or remain with WMECo, and regardless of their choice will still be eligible for all WMECo services, including MassSave and emergency repair.”   Essentially, all services related to electricity will remain the same, and bills will continue to come from WMECo.

Massachusetts is one of a handful of states that has provisions to allow communities to purchase electricity on behalf of its citizens, and Greenfield is one of the first communities in the state to develop a municipal aggregation as a vehicle for choice and sustainability.  Greenfield’s municipal aggregation plan proposes to purchase electricity that is generated from up to 100% renewable energy sources, at a cost that is the same or below WMECo’s standard offering.  While the savings is expected to be minor, the average household customer can expect to save approximately $.50-2.00 per month.

Currently, WMECo customers have one offer for electricity with no choice, and with Greenfield Light and Power, customers will have options to choose from, including being able to lock in the price for up to 2 years.  Greenfield Community Light and Power is named in part after Greenfield Electric Light and Power, a local utility that served Greenfield from 1886-1924.