Comments accepted April 14-May 4 on Community Choice Aggregation Plan Draft
SOMERVILLE – In an effort to both lower the cost of electricity bills as well as introduce green power options into our energy supply, the City of Somerville is proposing the creation of a citywide electricity bulk buying program known as community choice aggregation. Also referred to as municipal aggregation, such programs allow cities to pool the citywide energy buying power of all interested customers in the city to obtain community-wide benefits.
The objective of municipal aggregation is to lower electricity bills through the formation of a buying group composed of the residents and businesses without interfering with the level of service provided by the existing utility (Eversource in Somerville), which will continue to distribute the electricity supply. In addition to lowering and stabilizing electricity prices, aggregation can be used to increase the amount of renewable energy in the community’s energy supply.
Municipal aggregation was created under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 164 Section 134. More than 60 cities and towns in Massachusetts—including Melrose, New Bedford, Salem—already have active electricity aggregation programs, and other nearby communities are actively pursuing similar programs—including Brookline, Woburn, Winchester, and Stoneham. In October 2015, the Board of Aldermen authorized the creation of a community choice aggregation plan in Somerville.
Somerville’s proposed program will employ a procurement process designed to maximize savings and will provide a full set of consumer protections, including the right for any customer to opt out of the program at any time at no charge.
A draft of the proposed program was submitted to the Board of Aldermen and is now available online and at the Central Library. It is open for public comment from April 14 to May 4, 2016. The plan and a comment form are available online at http://www.somervillema.gov/cca. A hard copy is available at the Reference Desk of the Central Library at 79 Highland Avenue. Hard copy comments may be mailed to: Office of Sustainability & Environment, City of Somerville, 50 Evergreen Avenue, Somerville, MA 02145
In May, following authorization by the Mayor and the Board of Alderman, the plan will be submitted to the state
Department of Public Utilities, and if approved, the City hopes to procure vendors this fall.
Community Choice Aggregation Information Session, Thursday, April 28
To learn more about aggregation or provide comments in person, the City will be hosting a Q&A session.
April 28, 2016, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Somerville Central Library
79 Highland Avenue