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Community Electricity Aggregation in Maynard?

Sudbury will soon offer lower electricity prices for residents through its optional municipal town aggregation program. The good news is that the Town of Maynard is also looking at aggregation—and we’re hoping for a lower-cost renewable energy option as well! As the Patch article notes, even Sudbury’s “green” option—which buys electricity from 100 percent renewable sources—will be lower than Eversource at 13.8 cents per kilowatt-hour. Let us know if you’re interested in community aggregation—as well as seeing Maynard secure an option for renewable energy at a competitive price.

At their December 6, 2022, meeting, the four members of the Maynard Selectboard voted to engage MassPowerChoice—the aggregation arm of Peregrine Energy Company—as the Town’s contractor for negotiating a residential and business energy purchasing agreement.

This is a step forward on the path to a bulk-purchasing agreement—an optional program for residents and businesses to participate in. Next will be the important framing of the desired energy mixes. Will the Town ask for two or three pricing tiers? Will the Town be able to negotiate a competitively priced energy mix as other towns have done? Will they secure an option for renewable energy at a competitive price? If so, will these renewables be local? There are many ways to structure a bulk energy purchasing agreement at pricing that’s beneficial for Maynard residents and businesses.

The MassPowerChoice team alongside Town staff and Sustainability Committee volunteers will undertake the next step. After a proposed set of energy mix and pricing tiers are delineated, MassPowerChoice staff will put this out to bid and negotiate for the most competitive pricing and terms on behalf of the Town.

If the negotiations are successful and Maynard’s Selectboard—with the support of the community—chooses one of the vendors and plans, MassPowerChoice is then paid by that energy vendor via a small surcharge on the energy supplied (as is typical of community aggregation agreements throughout the state). This entire effort requires no increase to the municipal budget and no new taxes.

MassPowerChoice is also tasked with educating the community about the program. Our neighboring towns are benefiting from agreements to bulk purchase energy, and they have been successful in keeping prices lower and in purchasing greener mixes of energy as well. At this volatile time for energy prices, this is an important tool to protect consumers with predictable energy pricing as well as to help our community leverage bulk purchasing power to green the state’s grid.

Businesses and residents can continue to make their own energy choices. Individuals and businesses do not have to participate in any bulk energy agreement the Town may make, and opting out is easy. But the Town’s aggregator is tasked with negotiating a tempting set of options and pricing.

Any proposed energy agreement resulting from Maynard’s bulk purchasing agreement process will be described in detail at public meetings and via circulars. It will be subject to further vote by the Selectboard at public meeting. The timeframe for this process can vary from months to years. We’ll keep you posted!

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