The town of Lancaster has become the latest community in Massachusetts to localize its electricity. The town has renewed its commitment to renewable energy by signing a contract with Hampshire Power that ensures the town’s 2,900 electric customers will have a local, renewable energy supply and will likely see cost savings.
Hampshire Power is a locally based electricity supplier with a mission to keep electricity dollars in the local economy. A division of the Hampshire Council of Governments, a nonprofit government entity located in Northampton, MA, Hampshire Power was selected in a competitive bid process to serve the entire town’s electricity needs and has also agreed to purchase the Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) generated by Lancaster’s Solar Farm.
This purchase provides $180,000 for the town to make bond payments associated with the solar farm, and it ensures the town will receive fair value for the SRECS and local, green energy, all while shaving ten percent off the current electricity price for ratepayers.
Orlando Pacheco, Lancaster’s town administrator, said he signed with Hampshire Power because of its ability to offer stable rates, its capacity to maximize savings and its strong record of performance as an energy supplier in the Northeast. Pacheco continues, “the Community Choice Power Supply initiative allows the town to provide local energy services in a way that stabilizes costs, promotes competition and enhances support for local, renewable resources.”
"We’re proud that Hampshire Power’s competitive, fixed-price power supply will help Lancaster residents stabilize their energy bills,” said Todd Ford, Executive Director of the Hampshire Council of Governments.
“Our organization brings many assets to the Community Choice Power Supply program, including support for local sustainable energy and a strong record of performance and customer service throughout western and central Massachusetts."
The program begins at the December meter reading for all consumers, and this means the potential for increased savings during the cold winter months, when electrical consumption is high. “It comes at a great time to help the town’s consumers realize savings on their electric bills,” said Ford.
The selection of Hampshire Power is part of Lancaster’s Community Choice Power Supply program (aka Municipal Aggregation), approved at the Town Meeting in May 2012. Colonial Power Group, Inc. serves as agent for the town and administers the selection process.
“This program provides price stability, and competition without adding a single dollar to the tax burden of Lancaster’s residents and business community,” said Brian Murphy of Colonial Power Group, Inc. “We commend the town’s leaders for their innovative approach to energy purchasing.”
Photos courtesy of BlackRockSolar on Flickr and The Hampshire COG.