City’s Plan to Resell Electricity Goes Before State DPU Today

A public hearing takes place on Boston today to consider Haverhill’s plan to bring electricity rate pooling, or “electric aggregation,” to local utility customers.

City officials, representatives of consultant Colonial Power Group Inc., Marlborough, and others seeking to provide comment on the plan are expected to attend the 2 p.m. hearing at the Department of Public Utilities (DPU), 1 South Station, fifth floor, Boston.

“To implement the aggregation plan, the city seeks department approval of its Community Choice Power Supply Aggregation Plan,” a DPU spokesperson said in a hearing notice. “The city’s filing includes a competitive electric service agreement, which will be negotiated with potential electrical suppliers. The city seeks a waiver, on behalf of itself and its competitive supplier, of certain information disclosure requirements…”

The waiver request applies to a quarterly information disclosure label to retail customers of a competitive supplier or distribution company providing “standard offer generation service or default/basic generation service.”

“A competitive supplier may provide a label reflecting a segment of its company resource portfolio…provided that once a year the competitive supplier shall provide a disclosure label based on the company resource portfolio identified…”

WHAV reported last March the proposal prepared by consultant Colonial Power Group Inc., Marlborough, in consultation with the state Department of Energy Resources (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.

The city’s move 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.

WHAV has placed a call to city Energy Manager and Purchasing Agent Orlando Pacheco for comment on Monday’s hearing.