Mayor’s Plan for Local Electricity Rate Relief Moves Forward

A plan by the city of Haverhill to bring electricity rate pooling, or “electric aggregation,” to local utility customers is moving forward after clearing one hurdle from state regulators.

A “Community Choice Power Supply Plan” to negotiate lower electricity rates to Haverhill residents and businesses by pooling local consumers has received approval from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER). The city has now filed with the Department of Public Utilities (DPU, file #15-61) and expects to hear from them in the coming months, according to Mayor James J. Fiorentini.

“This past winter, Haverhill residents were hit hard with staggering increases in their electric bills,” a spokesperson for Fiorentini said. “The mayor was able to negotiate with other suppliers a more favorable utility rate, saving the municipality and city school department a substantial amount of money on electricity.”

WHAV reported last March the proposal prepared by consultant Colonial Power Group Inc., Marlborough, in consultation with the DOER, “is designed to offer competitive choice to eligible consumers and to gain other favorable economic and non-economic terms in service contracts. The city does not buy and resell power, but represents consumer interests to set the terms for service,” according to city documents. The Haverhill City Council in March approved the city’s plans to pursue the state approvals as well as its pooling, or aggregation plan.

“Through a competitive bid and negotiation process, the city develops a contract with a competitive supplier for firm, all-requirements service. The contract runs for a fixed term. The process of contract approval contains checks and balances. Once the contract has been negotiated by the city’s agent, it must be submitted to the mayor for approval. And lastly, eligible consumers may opt-out of the program, and select Basic Service or power supply from any other competitive supplier they wish at any time before or following their enrollment in the city’s program. No eligible consumer is required to receive service under the city’s contract.”

The move to seek electric aggregation for Haverhill residents and businesses was sparked by last November’s 37 percent rate hike by utility National Grid to its basic service electric rate during the winter heating season which ended April 30. If the city’s plan is approved by the DPU, electric rate relief could come as early as next winter.

One thought on “Mayor’s Plan for Local Electricity Rate Relief Moves Forward

  1. Now this lying mayor has an unnamed spokesperson?

    Substantial savings? I doubt it or they would have provided an actual dollar figure.
    Just another example of the mayor taking credit for something, and in this case something we have no proof actually happened.