Town Signs Off on Aggregation Plan – 37% Savings Over NGrid Winter Rates

By John Anderson

At last night’s Selectmen’s Meeting, Town Manager Julie Jacobson announced that the town had signed off on a Municipal Aggregation Plan for Auburn residents and small businesses. Colonial Power Group, the town’s energy consultant, went out to bid last week and got a very favorable rate from Constellation Energy Resources which offered a 1 year contract at 9.52¢ per Kilowatt Hour (kWh).

In addition to a fixed rate for the next year, Colonial President Brian Murphy told the board that all of the electricity will be green, offset 100% by renewable energy credits from wind turbines across the country. If a consumer were to purchase electricity from Constellation, the individual rate would be nearly 11¢/kWh without the aggregation plan.

National Grid customers will pay 13.04¢/kWh this winter, so Auburn residents will realize a savings of 3.52¢/kWh. This will add up during the expected harsh winter approaching, and who would not appreciate a 37% savings on electricity supply? National Grid charges another 2¢/kWh for a green supplier.

Current National Grid customers will be getting a letter from the Town of Auburn shortly, and they will have the month of November to opt out if they choose. Murphy expects 3% will opt out for various reasons. Only National Grid customers will receive notifications, but customers of other suppliers will be welcomed as well if they can escape their current supply contracts. National Grid will continue to bill the supply for Constellation and charge separately for delivery expenses.

The new rates will kick in with the December 2015 meter reading and will appear on the January 2016 bill. Jacobson said although National Grid typically drops their rates in the spring, they would have to go to 6.5¢/kWh for the aggregation plan to not be the best deal. The last time National Grid had a rate that was even close was in the summer of 2012 when they charged 6.72¢/kWh. That rate is considered an anomaly by many in the energy field.

In other news from the board’s meeting, the new Town By-Laws will take effect once notification is posted in all of the precincts. The rates and penalties are available on The Auburn Guide. Manager Jacobson thanked all those who have participated in the lengthy By-Law process.

The Selectmen also followed Police Chief Sluckis’s recommendation to hold Trick or Treat on Saturday, October 31st from 5-7pm.