SALISBURY — Residents saved about $225,000 on their electric bills in the first three months of the year because of a program aimed at trimming homeowners’ costs, according to the town manager.
Salisbury entered into a three-year agreement with First Power Point LLC of Warwick, Rhode Island, late last year to lock in ratepayers at a kilowatt-hour rate of 11 cents — down from National Grid’s 13 cents — through the town’s Community Choice Power Supply Program.
Colonial Power Group Inc., a consulting company based in Marlborough, helped the town reach the agreement with First Power Point.
Town Manager Neil Harrington told selectmen at their meeting July 15 that the electricity aggregation program worked as intended in January, February and March.
“The ($225,000 savings) is versus the National Grid basic rate and the savings is also about $430,000 versus the National Grid green option,” Harrington said.
He said the Community Choice Power Supply Program uses 100% renewable energy and its power supply is offset by renewable energy certificates.
There are 3,291 Salisbury customers enrolled in the program, Harrington said. He noted that residential customers received about 72% of the town’s savings, or $162,448, versus National Grid’s basic rate.
“Reviewing these results, I think there is no other conclusion than to say that the program has gotten off to a very successful start,” Harrington said. “I would respectfully ask that if residents who did opt out and wished to reconsider, that they do so because they can save some money.”
Interested residents can opt into the program at www.salisburyma.gov/home/news/community-choice-power-supply-program at any time and those who opted out can remain out as well, according to Harrington.
Selectman Freeman Condon said he believes there is “still a lot of confusion” among residents regarding the electricity aggregation program.
“If you were to take your bill and compare it from year to year, there is a substantial savings,” Condon said. “I’m not sure that if the people that are complaining are really understanding what is going on.”
Selectman Ronalee Ray-Parrott said she has seen residents posting on social media that they have averaged $30 a month in savings on their electric bills.
Selectman Chuck Takesian endorsed the electricity aggregation program.
“I still think there’s a little confusion” on social media, Takesian said. “Another thing I don’t think they understand is that we had to include the whole town in (the program) in order for the company to come up with their estimate. So, we aren’t pounding anything into people, we are trying to save you a buck.”
Condon reinforced Takesian’s take on the matter.
“The misunderstanding is that people are implying that we are mandating something against their will and that is not the case at all,” Condon said. “The opt-out is simple and we had one motive, that was to collectively try to save money for all of the townspeople.”