The town’s contract with Public Power, LLC, is part of a aggregation program that allows municipalities to merge the purchasing power of residents and businesses to buy large amounts of alternative energy at a lower and fixed rate.

ASHLAND – Eversource ratepayers in town will save a collective total of about $785,000 during the first year of the town’s power agreement with Public Power, LLC, according to Town Manager Michael Herbert.

The town’s contract with the supplier, which went in effect this past summer, is part of a aggregation program that allows municipalities to merge the purchasing power of individual residents and businesses to buy a large amount of alternative energy in bulk at a fixed low rate.

As opposed to Eversource, which changes its rate every six months, Herbert said, residents won’t see rate changes throughout the duration of Public Power’s three-year contract with the town.

Energy provided by Public Power is also 100 percent green, with 77 percent of it coming from National Wind, according to a press release.

“Really, it allows you to take advantage of the capital marketplace to essentially get the best deal you can for your citizens and ratepayers,” Herbert said.

Public Power’s fixed rate is 10.95 cents per kilowatt hour. Starting Tuesday, Eversource’s rate will climb to 13.58 cents per kwh, according to Eversource Media Relations Manager Reid Lamberty, an increase of about 2.19. cents. The increase, Lamberty notes, is “a pass-through cost” to what Eversource is charged from its electrical supplier. Eversource does not receive an increase in profits.

“So, while ours stays the same, Eversource’s rate jumps two cents, so that just magnifies the savings ratepayers are able to receive,” Herbert said.

The town’s program is managed by Marlborough-based Colonial Power Group Inc., an energy consulting company that assists more than 60 municipalities in Massachusetts.

The average residential electricity consumption rate for Massachusetts is about 600 kwh per month, according to Colonial Power Group President Mark Cappadona. Based on that figure, the average monthly cost for those who stay with Eversource will be approximately $82.22, he said, while the average Public Power customer in Ashland will pay $65.68. That’s a monthly savings of $16.54, or more than 20 percent.

For the year, Ashland ratepayers will see about 12 percent average in savings, according to a press release from the town.

“This is great, because it is the first time we have gone to 100 percent green product and we are still saving compared to Eversource,” Herbert said.

Residents who are Eversource customers are automatically opted into the aggregation program and still continue to receive a bill from Eversource; Public Power LLC appears under “Supplier Services” on the bill, according to the press release. Those who don’t want to participate have to take the initiative to remove themselves from the program.

By Cesareo Contreras /

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