LWVN received this press release from the City of Newton:
The City of Newton today signed an historic contract for all of the City’s electricity customers that is 60 percent from local renewable sources such as solar and wind, significantly reducing the City’s carbon footprint while also cutting the price customers pay.
This is an additional 46 percent above the state mandate for renewables.
Today’s decision makes Newton the community with far and away the highest percentage of additional local renewable electricity of any municipal aggregation program in Massachusetts. Of the 40 cities and towns with municipal aggregation programs that provide electricity from renewable energy sources above the amount mandated by state law, none provide an amount of local renewable electricity comparable to the 60% in Newton Power Choice. The closest is Brookline which will be at 39% in 2019, which includes the 14% state mandate.
Newton Power Choice is a “municipal aggregation” program that allows cities and towns to choose the electricity supplier for electricity customers within its borders, rather than having the local utility — Eversource, in the case of Newton — buy the electricity.
With Newton Power Choice, Eversource will continue to deliver the electricity; customers will continue to contact Eversource if their power goes out; and Eversource will continue to bill them. The difference is that Newton now selects the supplier of the electricity for customers rather than leaving it up to the utility.
“I am proud to announce Newton Power Choice, and proud that we are leading the way by choosing a higher percentage of renewables than any other community in Massachusetts. This is the most significant step we can take to reduce the carbon footprint of Newton,” Mayor Ruthanne Fuller said.
The program will go into effect in March 2019.
The 22-month contract signed by Mayor Fuller today was procured through a competitive bid process. The standard price per kilowatt hour for customers will be 11.34 cents. This compares to Eversource’s winter Basic Service rate (beginning January 1, 2019) for residential customers of 13.70 cents per kilowatt hour.
When this program goes into effect in March 2019, a typical Newton electricity customer (who uses 710 kwh/month) will get a total of 60% renewable energy and will pay $165.89 per month. By contrast, that same customer would pay $182.37 when Eversource’s Basic Service rate goes up in January; this is a savings of $16.48. Further, that customer would receive only the state mandated 14% renewable energy content.