Energy and Sustainability Committee Offers New Solutions

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By Ben Oleksinski

The Energy and Sustainability Committee (ESC) met on May 30 to discuss progress made on the Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Program and Net Zero Plan, their dual active efforts to manage energy expenditures and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in town.

The Town of Bedford plans to roll out the CCA Program in August 2019.

The CCA will allow the community to collect information on the electricity usage of residents and businesses and create a new large buying group to seek bids for cheaper rates. This will provide energy users with alternatives for longer-term price stability and more renewable energy options.

Dynegy was selected as the new electricity supplier after a competitive bid process. They currently serve several Massachusetts towns including Acton, Arlington, and Sudbury. What this means for customers is that energy will come from a new source, but with a smaller bill.

Customers on Basic Services with NStar Electric Company (Eversource) will be automatically enrolled in the program, which will be offering new options for energy classes such as basic, local green, 50% local green, and 100% local green. The price per kWh for electric supply will vary between rate class (residential, small commercial and industrial and street lighting, and large commercial and industrial.)

Customers will continue to receive one bill from Eversource and send payment to Eversource, while the reliability and quality of service will remain the same under the new supplier contract.

There is no action required to participate in the CCA. For those who do not want to participate, a signed and dated opt-out card must be mailed in.

ESC members also discussed the development of the Net Zero Plan, the long-term campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the entire community.

A drafted list of changes for the Net Zero Plan included municipal, residential, and commercial recommendations. The ESC aims to have the final plan ready for publication in the fall and will look for approval soon after.

A Net Zero forum that is open to the public will take place on June 20.