Bellingham Power Choice to Deliver Electricity Price Stability and Savings
Program price will be below both National Grid and Eversource Basic Service at launch
BELLINGHAM, MA – The Town of Bellingham will launch the Bellingham Power Choice municipal electricity aggregation program on March 1, 2017. At launch, the program price will offer residents and businesses savings on the electricity supply as part of their electric bill. National Grid and Eversource Basic Service customers will be automatically enrolled in Bellingham Power Choice on their first meter read after March 1, 2017.
Electricity aggregation is a form of group purchasing in which a town selects an electricity supplier on behalf of its residents and businesses. Through a public procurement process, Bellingham has selected and signed a 9-month electricity supply contract with NextEra Energy Services and has secured a price for Bellingham residents and businesses with that will offer savings of 1.6 cents/kWh below Eversource Basic Service residential winter rates and a savings of 1.1 cents/kWh below National Grid Basic Service residential winter rates at the time of program launch.
Most Bellingham residents and businesses currently receive Basic Service from their electric utility, either Eversource or National Grid, which means their electric utility both delivers and supplies their electricity. With Bellingham Power Choice, both Eversource and National Grid will continue to deliver electricity, but NextEra Energy Services will supply it.
The program will provide residents and businesses with two new alternatives to Basic Service, Power Choice Standard and Power Choice Green.
Power Choice Standard meets state renewable energy requirements, just like Basic Service. Power Choice Standard provides a price of 8.680 cents/kWh for all rate classes, including residential, commercial, and industrial. All Bellingham Power Choice participants will be automatically enrolled in Power Choice Standard.
Power Choice Green is a 100%-green-energy option that makes it possible to get 100% green energy cost effectively. Power Choice Green also makes it easy to support renewable energy projects in New England by including 20% more energy from new, New England renewable energy projects than required by state law. Bellingham Power Choice residents may choose Power Choice Green at a price of 9.232 cents/kWh for all rate classes, including residential, commercial, and industrial.
“Not only will Bellingham Power Choice provide savings on electric bills when we launch for both residents and businesses, but it will also provide a transparent alternative to the other electricity supply options on the market,” said Town Administrator Denis Fraine. “With no hidden charges, no minimum participation period, and a fixed price for 9 months, Bellingham Power Choice is an easy-to-understand program that the community can trust.”
Those who do not wish to participate in Bellingham Power Choice have the freedom to opt out of the program before it launches and remain with their utility’s Basic Service. Those who do participate in the program may opt out at any time after program launch with no penalty. Those who opt out later will be switched back to their utility’s Basic Service at the time they opt out.
Eversource and National Grid will continue to deliver electricity and maintain and repair power lines, and Bellingham Power Choice participants should continue to contact their electric utility when their power goes out. Customers will continue to receive one bill from their electric utility, either Eversource or National Grid. Bellingham Power Choice will only impact electricity supply charges on their bill. Delivery charges will be unaffected.
Eligible residents and businesses will receive an informational mailing about the program in late January and will also have the option of attending community information sessions to learn more. The first information session is scheduled for February 13, 2017 at 6pm, at the Town Office, 10 Mechanic Street.
While the goal of Bellingham Power Choice is to offer savings, savings are not guaranteed. The program will offer a fixed 9-month price. Utility Basic Service residential and commercial prices change twice a year or more, depending on rate class. As a result, the Bellingham Power Choice price may not always be below the utility Basic Service price. The program goal is to deliver savings when compared with the average of the changing Basic Service prices across all 9 months of the electricity supply contract with NextEra Energy Services.
Bellingham has developed its aggregation plan and is implementing its aggregation program with assistance from Peregrine Energy Group of Boston and Bay State Consultants of Newburyport.
For more information about the program, including how to choose Power Choice Green or how to opt out, residents and businesses are invited to visit www.masspowerchoice.com/bellingham, call the Town consultants at 1-844-241-8595, or call Bellingham Town Planner Jim Kupfer at 508-657-2893.