Staff Writer

NEW SALEM — The town’s previously published electricity aggregation rates, effective with the January 2021 meter reads, will increase by $0.00102 per kilowatt-hour as a result in a change in law.

The increase applies to the standard product and the optional green product, according to New Salem’s town website. The new rates will be fixed through the rest of the term, ending January 2024.

The website explains that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) finalized the Clean Energy Standard Expansion (CES-E) in July, requiring retail suppliers to annually demonstrate the use of clean energy to generate a specific percentage of their electricity sales. This obligation resulted in unexpected supplier costs, which in turn created a rate increase.

The new aggregation rates represent a monthly increase of 61 cents versus the previously published rates for both the standard product and the optional green product. Residents are advised to call Colonial Power Group — an energy consulting company chosen by New Salem to facilitate the Community Choice Power Supply Program, a municipal aggregation program — at 866-485-5858, ext. 1, with questions about the rate increase or their options.

Town Coordinator Nancy Aldrich said Monday that she had not heard any complaints from residents, calling the increase “teeny tiny.”

“It’s still cheaper than National Grid’s price,” Aldrich said. “If anybody is aggrieved, they can opt out. Nobody has to stay in it. It’s a very simple process.

“I’m sure that over three years it will represent a savings to everyone,” she added.

The town also recently announced that Dallas-based Dynegy Energy Services has been selected as the program’s supplier. According to the town’s website, Dynegy will provide electricity for all customers participating in New Salem’s program.

No resident or business will notice a change in their electricity service, according to New Salem’s website.

“You will see Dynegy printed under the ‘Supply Services’ section of your monthly bill,” the website explains. “You will continue to receive one bill from National Grid. You will continue to send your payments to National Grid for processing. National Grid will continue to respond to emergencies, read meters and maintain the distribution and transmission lines. Reliability and quality of service will remain the same. Furthermore, you will continue to have all existing consumer rights and protections.”

More information on the Massachusetts Clean Energy Standard is available at bit.ly/2JhZcXN.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.