Program origin, background and accomplishments

Origins & Accomplishments

Melrose’s aggregation program had been successful since it originally launched in January 2016, offering savings, consumer protections, and a trusted choice among many available on the market. One of the unexpected benefits has been increased public awareness and understanding of electric bills. Melrose residents have also contributed to the development of new renewable energy projects in our state, which makes us all healthier, our air cleaner, and Massachusetts much less reliable on importing fossil fuels from out of state. It’s been a win-win.

Aggregation Background

Municipal aggregation is allowed under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 164 Section 134. More than 140 cities and towns in Massachusetts—including Brookline, Cambridge, New Bedford, Stoneham, and Winchester—already have active electricity aggregation programs, and other nearby communities are actively pursuing similar programs. 

Under a municipal aggregation program, like Melrose Community Power, all customers receiving Basic Service from National Grid are automatically enrolled into the aggregation’s chosen supply product. However, before the enrollment happens, all customers must be given the chance to stay with Basic Service, known as “opting out”.

Melrose History & Plan

In May 2014, the City Council (then Board of Aldermen) authorized the creation of a community choice electricity aggregation program in Melrose, and the City then selected consultant Good Energy, L.P. to assist with all aspects of program implementation. The City developed a draft aggregation plan and solicited public comment. As required by law, the plan was reviewed with the MA Department of Energy Resources and then sent to the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) for review. DPU approved the plan in September 2015. Read the 2015 aggregation plan here.

The City conducted a competitive bid for electricity supply and secured its first supply contract to start in January 2016. At the time, the program was called Melrose Community Electricity Aggregation. The contract was with supplier Constellation for 18 months, and it had a standard product which added 5% more MA Class I renewable energy on top of the State’s minimum requirements. The contract also had optional products with 100% extra renewable energy or no extra renewable energy. When this first contract ended, an analysis of current and expected market conditions led the City to determine that the best option for Melrose ratepayers would be to return to the National Grid Basic Service supply rate starting July 2017.

Read 2017 article by Melrose Sustainability Manager Martha Grover

In spring of 2018, the City made the decision to restart the aggregation program, which required a new aggregation plan. The City Council (then Board of Aldermen) approved the new plan in May 2018 and the Department of Public Utilities approved the plan in January 2019.

Read the 2019 Melrose Aggregation Plan

The City conducted a competitive bid for electricity supply and secured a contract with supplier NextEra Energy Services that started in June 2019 with fixed prices through November 2021 (27 months). This contract also has 5% more MA Class I renewable energy than required by state law. 

In fall 2020, the program rebranded, changing the name to Melrose Community Power.

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