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Town to talk municipal light, power tonight; Greenfield residents encouraged to ask questions  

Credit:  By ANITA FRITZ, Recorder Staff | Wednesday, December 3, 2014 | (Published in print: Thursday, December 4, 2014) | www.recorder.com ~~

GREENFIELD – Those who are still not clear on what Greenfield Community Light and Power is and what it can do for them, there will be a public meeting tonight in Greenfield Community College Sloan Theater on the main campus.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m.

All current Western Massachusetts Electric Co. customers living in Greenfield should have received a letter explaining the program, but Mayor William Martin said people still have questions.

Starting Jan. 1, the program will offer 100 percent green electricity to residents and businesses at a lower price than WMECO’s 2015 prices.

Current WMECO customers will automatically be enrolled, but will have the option to decline. If a customer chooses to participate, there will be no action required.

“Greenfield is one of a handful of towns in Massachusetts using municipal aggregation as a way to bring savings, renewable energy, choice and price predictability to electricity customers,” said Martin. “The town is committed to helping all Greenfield residents and businesses manage increasing electricity prices and we are able to save all customers money over WMECO’s 2015 rates with electricity that is from 100 percent green electricity sources.”

Martin said the electricity participants will use in the program will come from hydroelectric plants in Maine (78.8 percent) and a mix of clean energy sources (21.2 percent), including solar, wind and landfill gas.

He said all of the energy that will be supplied by ConEdison Solutions is in compliance with the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard and Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard.

The town’s goal is for the program price, on average, to best WMECO’s basic service price.

There will also be an even greener option, said Martin.

Those who participate in the town program will have the option at a price of 1.66 cents per kWh for electricity sourced from 20 percent New England wind, 58.8 percent from hydroelectric plants in Maine and 21.2 percent from a mix of clean energy.

The premium for that option is a little higher because electricity generated from wind is more expensive than hydroelectric, said Martin.

Since WMECO purchases electricity in the wholesale market, Martin said Greenfield Community Light and Power will have no impact on the company’s finances.

He said WMECO makes all of its money on delivery charges and will continue to deliver to the program’s participants.

Martin said nothing will change – WMECO will continue to read meters, maintain transmission lines, and provide customer service.

“Bills will continue to come from WMECO, bill payments will go to WMECO and the company should be called if power goes out,” said Martin.

All customers will still be eligible for the MassSAVE program and the low-income delivery rate through Fuel Assistance and other programs will continue. Likewise, budget billing participants can continue to receive that benefit.

For more information about the program, either attend the meeting tonight or visit: www.townofgreenfield.org/Pages/GreenfieldLight&Power.

Source:  By ANITA FRITZ, Recorder Staff | Wednesday, December 3, 2014 | (Published in print: Thursday, December 4, 2014) | www.recorder.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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