By Mary Ellen Gambon
officials again will be able to choose an electricity supplier for residents.
National Grid currently supplies power to most residents, who can opt out and choose another company.
Selectmen unanimously approved the aggregation power supply program for Stoughton’s electricity policy, 5-0, at its Jan. 29 meeting.
The plan was developed by Colonial Power Group, Inc., (CPG), an aggregation implementation consultant, and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER).
The aggregation plan allows the Town to negotiate the best rates for more than 26,000 customers who use the electricity supply, said Pam McCarthy, Stoughton’s economic development director.
“Initially we had a six-month contract that was approved in 2016,” she said. “The next term was from January through to July of 2018. During that time, we saved $650,000 on our energy, which was an 11 percent savings.”
She added that the rate for electricity is “basically the same right now as it was before.”
Participation in the plan is voluntary for each consumer, and participants will be allowed to opt out of the plan at any time.
CPG, according to its proposal, estimates that 97 percent of Town residents will opt to participate in the aggregate plan.
The town manager carries out the collective decisions of the selectmen regarding the contract. The consultant provides the day-to-day supervision of the business affairs, such as communications, program oversight and management.
Suppliers contact the town manager to compete for the contract and negotiate a rate. The town manager approves the contract.
“I have been getting calls about this every day,” McCarthy said, noting that National Grid has been the supplier and has had the lowest rates.
The information will be posted on the Town website. The public comment period is through Feb. 25.
McCarthy noted that there will be an option for people to choose green energy.
“What I need for you tonight is to approve this program so that we can proceed,” McCarthy said.
“Does this create an option for people to opt out of this at any time?,” board chair Bob O’Regan asked.
McCarthy said that it did.
Selectman Steve Cavey asked if Stoughton was going in as a separate community rather than as a part of a group of towns.
“Over 60 communities are working on this on their own,” McCarthy said. “The way the state law is, there is a lot of outreach being done.”
She added that the Town already voted to be a public aggregate source in 2016.
Selectman Christine Howe made a motion to adopt the measure, which vice chair Michael Sullivan seconded.
The process can take eight to nine months, according to McCarthy.