City Uses ‘Reverse Auction’ to Lower Electricity Rate

Pacheco and Fiorentini

Orlando Pacheco, purchasing agent and energy manager, and Mayor James J. Fiorentini.

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini says the City of Haverhill is in line to save taxpayers more than $74,000--at least compared to budgeted electricity costs--in the face of a 37 percent basic service rate increase proposed by National Grid.

According to a press release, the city signed two new 24-month fixed-price contracts, which will take effect in December. Using a so-called “reverse auction” method for bidding a new contract, the city received a low bid of 10.5 cents per kilowatt hour for city accounts and 10.0 cents per kilowatt hour for water and waste water accounts. In the current fiscal year, the city had budgeted 11 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity.

“We recognize the need to be proactive in dealing with our energy costs. With National Grid Basic Service rates increasing by 37% to over 16 cents per kilowatt hour, we knew we had to take action. In August we put the city’s electric contract out to bid. We used the reverse auction technique to get the best supply contract for our taxpayers,” Fiorentini said.

Orlando Pacheco, the city's purchasing agent and energy manager, said, “We saw that electric rates were going to go up this winter, and were proactive, not reactive, to save taxpayer dollars.”

Meanwhile, residential electric customers can apply for rate relief this winter through fuel assistance services administered by Community Action Inc. at a new office in Haverhill's Washington Square.