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Selectmen Discuss Rolling Out Electrical Aggregation Program

The Upton Board of Selectmen is trying to get the word out to residents concerning their participation in the electrical aggregation program with Colonial Power. During a September 5 meeting, the Selectmen met with Colonial Power representative Mark Cappadona to once again discuss details concerning how the agreement will affect residents.

Approximately 18 months ago, residents approved a measure at Town Meeting permitting Colonial Power to go out to bid on the town's behalf to provide residents and businesses with an option to purchase electricity at rate lower than National Grid.

According to Cappadona, "Upton will still be a National Grid community; billing, wires, poles. This program only addresses the commodity piece or the electron running through the wire." The Selectmen now want to make certain residents understand they can opt of the program if they choose to. However, if they do nothing, they'll automatically be enrolled.

Town Manager Derek Brindisi spoke to the Town Manager in Plymouth, where the same program was just launched to their residents. "We need to be mindful of how we roll this out. People [in Plymouth] are very concerned," said Brindisi. "They think the town is taking part of the savings and putting it into the general fund."

Cappadonna confirmed National Grid customers will receive a mailing explaining the program and detailing how to opt out if they choose to. He also suggested using the local cable station and the town's Web site to post information. Using social media and the local newspapers will also help to educate residents.

"The simple ABCs are the voters approved this," said Selectman Chair Robert Fleming. "The second thing is the voters are going to receive notifications in the mail and it's going to give them the chance to opt out. If they don't opt out, they are part of the program."

For those enrolled in the program, rates are expected to be approximately 10 percent lower than what National Grid is presently charging. Residents will still be billed through the same process. Fleming confirmed "The town does not get a direct benefit from any form of return profits or revenue at all. The benefits go directly to the users."

Cappadona stated the new, lower rates are expected to be confirmed shortly. The Selectmen agreed they will make a decision at their September 19 meeting whether now is a good time to roll out the program to citizens.


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