UPTON – Selectmen entered into a consultant agreement Tuesday with Colonial Power Group for an electrical aggregation that will provide discounted electricity for participating residents.

Colonial is an energy consultant group that designs, implements and manages electricity aggregation for 35 cities and towns in Massachusetts.

Colonial is able to offer discounted electricity because the company has the ability to purchase electricity several times a year, whereas companies such as National Grid are limited to purchasing only a couple of specific days a year when rates may not be ideal.

Residents voted to participate in electricity aggregation at a Town Meeting a couple years ago, and since then the town had been working with the Hampshire Council of Governments until the group’s plan to offer discounted electricity to about 40 Massachusetts communities was rejected by the state a few months ago.

Officials have since decided to instead retain Colonial to manage the town’s community choice aggregation.

The next step is to decide whether to select the cheapest possible electricity plan or “include some renewable or green energy in our formula,” said selectmen Chairman Kenneth Picard.

The board decided that it will organize a meeting with representatives from Colonial as well as the Green Communities town group to determine which plan to pursue.

There is no cost to the town to enter the contract and any residents who are already receiving basic service electricity will automatically receive the discounted electricity.

“I think when people realize what it is they will see the sufficient savings and it’s going to benefit us on the green initiative,” said Selectman Robert Fleming.

Selectman Jim Brochu said that the advantage to Colonial is that “there is no ‘locked-in’ with this.”

Those who do not want to participate have the option to opt out at any time, as does the town if it is dissatisfied with the service or wants to pursue another deal.

Corin Cook can be reached at ccook@wickedlocal.com or 508-634-7521. Follow her on Twitter @corincook_MDN.

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