A bank of electricity meters (copy)
Great Barrington residents who opt into an aggregate rate program through the town will see a $43 monthly savings for average usage. The new rate will kick in on Nov. 1 and show up on December bills.

GREAT BARRINGTON — National Grid customers in town who are enrolled in the Community Choice Power Supply Program will see their electric bills fall beginning Nov. 1.

For the average customer using 600 kilowatts of energy per month a rate shift would mean a $43 savings each month, according to a statement issued by the town last week.

It would mean the difference between $133 a month and $90 a month for average use.

The town signed a 24-month contract with Dynegy Energy Services for an aggregate rate. The new rate will be $0.15051 per kilowatt. Previously it was $0.22203 per kilowatt.

This rate is 17 percent lower than National Grid’s recently announced Residential Basic Service rate of $0.18213 per kilowatt, the statement said.

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“After markedly high electricity prices, we are pleased to announce a drop in the program’s rate,” said Great Barrington Town Manager Mark Pruhenski in the news release. “The rate is locked in for the term of the contract and will insulate ratepayers from market fluctuations.”

Residents already in the program don’t have to take action. Those who want to enroll can visit a link on the website of Colonial Power Group, an electricity aggregation consultant. Customers should have received a postcard explaining how to opt-in.

Cities and towns use municipal aggregation programs to negotiate affordable rates in bulk on behalf of residents. Great Barrington is one of at least 18 towns in the Berkshires with a program.

Great Barrington’s aggregate electricity program, launched in 2017, has already saved residents and small businesses over $2.6 million compared to National Grid Basic Service, according to the town.

“Basic Service rates change twice a year or more, depending on rate class,” the statement says. “As a result, the aggregation rate may not always be lower than the Basic Service rate. The goal of the aggregation is to deliver savings over the life of the program against National Grid Basic Service. However, such savings and future savings cannot be guaranteed.”

National Grid also has several programs to help income-eligible families and customers needing special assistance meet their energy needs.


Original Berkshire Eagle Article

Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or 413-329-6871.

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