City’s new power contract points to increased use of renewables – and tariffs


The city has selected a new electricity supplier for Arlington Community Electric (ACE) program, with a contract duration of 24 months starting in November. The use of renewable energy is expected to increase, as are tariffs.

The contract with NextEra Massachusetts Energy Services provides a fixed price for two years, while the price for Eversource Basic Service fluctuates every six months.

More than 16,000 residents and businesses enrolled in the program can expect to see a price change and a new supplier on their December electricity bill. This bill will reflect the November meter reading.

Under the new contract, the default percentage of additional renewable energy for the “local green” product will increase from 11% to 30%. Purchasing additional renewable energy through this product allows customers to contribute to the increased development of renewable energy in the North East region. This increase is estimated to produce an additional 16.6 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy use, enough to power 2,900 Arlington homes entirely on renewable energy.

Touted “stable prices”

“ACE continues to provide our residents with stable prices, which is especially important in today’s volatile economy as everyone faces rising energy costs,” said City Manager Sandy Pooler. in a September 26 press release. “ACE offers residents and businesses the ability to choose the amount of renewable energy and price option that works best for them.”

The ACE program, the statement said, has offered competitive rates since its inception in August 2017, and they will remain under the new contract. The program has generated more than $4.6 million in cumulative savings for taxpayers (future savings cannot be guaranteed), the statement said.

The following table includes pricing and renewable energy content for all ACE products relative to Eversource’s basic service offering through December, when Eversource will publish its new pricing.










Eversource
Basic Service

(for residential customers)

Arlington Community Electric (ACE)


Basic

local green

(+30%)

(Default program)

Local greener (+50%)

The greenest local (+100%)

Price

17.871¢/kWh

16.090¢/kWh

17,200¢/kWh

17.940¢/kWh

19,790¢/kWh

Rate Difference vs. Eversource

– 1.781¢/kWh

– 0.0671¢/kWh

0.069¢/kWh

1.919¢/kWh

Duration

Jul 1 to Dec 31 2022

November ’22 to November ’24

The ACE program cannot guarantee savings over Eversource basic for the duration of the program’s pricing, as future pricing for the basic service is unknown, the statement said.

Products labeled “green” contain additional renewable energy certificates, or RECs, beyond what is required by state law. Additional RECs are eligible for Mass designation. Class I from generation located or delivered in New England.

ACE vs. Eversource Basic

For these months of November and December, customers enrolled in ACE Local Green and ACE Basic will save money over Eversource’s residential basic service rate (future savings cannot be guaranteed, as Eversource has no yet announced its base service rates since December), the statement said. . Residential customers with average use who choose up to 100% renewable energy would pay $9.21 more per month than if they signed up for basic Eversource service.

All ACE-enrolled customers can expect to see a $25-$30 increase in their monthly electricity bills over the current ACE contract, depending on the ACE product chosen.

This increase is occurring across the electricity market, caused by an increase in natural gas prices, the primary driver of electricity prices in New England. These market conditions have also prompted Eversource’s current base rate increases.

Income-eligible customers enrolled in ACE will still receive discounts, and those needing fuel assistance during this difficult time can contact Community Teamwork Inc., the designated community agency serving Arlington at 978-459-0551.

ACE customers will automatically transition to the new NextEra supply contract with the same product they are currently enrolled in (levels shown in the table above); no action is required to remain in the program.

All customers will receive a letter from the city this week, which includes more information about the new contract. Customers can change between the four levels of the program at any time without penalty. Those who have withdrawn from the program can return to it at any time.

Additional information about ACE is available online at ace.arlingtonma.gov

About community choice aggregation

In 1997, Massachusetts adopted a public policy allowing cities and towns to aggregate the purchasing power of individual electricity customers. This process is called Community Choice Aggregation (CCA). Through a “Green CCA,” Arlington officials say the city can significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions efficiently, affordably, and with the added benefit of educating the public to better understand electricity bills, energy choices and renewable energy.

In August 2017, the City of Arlington joined 60 Massachusetts communities and rolled out Arlington Community Electricity (ACE, formerly known as Arlington CCA). ACE uses bulk purchasing to provide competitive electricity prices and rate stability to consumers. The program offers three levels of renewable energy to consumers to reduce dependence on polluting fossil fuels.


September 2, 2020: LOOKING AHEAD: New Electricity Push

This announcement was published on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, based on a press release from Joan Roman, Public Information Officer for the City of Arlington, edited by Bob Sprague.

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