ASHLAND – The town’s newest power agreement is expected to supply residents and business owners with completely green electricity.
“The pricing was right, and it’s something that met our goals,” Town Manager Michael Herbert said. “It was a no-brainer.”
Power purchased under the new agreement with Public Power LLC will be 100 percent green, through Minnesota-based National Wind, Herbert said. Accordingly, the majority of the electricity will come from wind energy.
Ashland has been operating on a community choice aggregation program for years to secure lower and fixed rates. Several Massachusetts cities and towns use a similar program.
“It allows the town, on behalf of the community ratepayers, to go out on the open market,” using the purchasing power of the entire community, instead of individual customers, Herbert said.
The change is automatic. Residents and business owners will still see a single bill, from Eversource, and Eversource will still respond for service calls and emergencies.
It’s possible to opt out of the program, Herbert said. Residents should see a flyer about the program soon.
Under the agreement, however, Ashland ratepayers could see a savings of about $300,000 over the course of a year, Herbert said. That’s about $50 per household or business.
“Plus you’re supporting renewable (energy),” Herbert said.
The program has saved ratepayers more than $1 million in five years, according to a town press release.
The agreement is a fixed rate, too, Herbert said, for 30 months.
“You don’t have to worry about every six months the Eversource rate changing,” he said. “It gives you some price stability.”
Ashland has been pushing toward becoming a more environmentally friendly community. There are a handful of solar panel arrays in town, helping power public buildings, and Ashland is a state-designated Green Community. Officials even included the idea in their motto “Smart, Safe, Sustainable.”