Town residents have received information about Watertown Electricity Choice in the mail, online and other modes, but many people have questions about the new electricity program. Monday, Aug. 12 is the deadline for Watertown residents to choose one of the new electricity plans being offered by the town as part of the Electricity Choice program. However, Watertown Energy Manager Ed Lewis stressed that residents can change their plans anytime, with no fee for changing. Lewis has been fielding calls, and doing informational sessions to answer resident’s questions about the Watertown’s electricity plan.
Watertown’s new electricity plan will get half its energy from renewable sources, such as solar panels. NOTE: A fourth informational meeting has been added, see details below:
In September, Watertown residents will be transitioned to the Town’s new Electricity Choice Program, which gets half its power from renewable sources. Customers have a choice to opt out of the program, or to get a greater percentage of green electricity. The new renewable energy contract will be part of the state’s Community Choice Aggregation program. In May, the Town Council gave Town Manager Michael Driscoll the authority to approve a contract with a greater amount of renewable energy that required by the state.
More solar-generated energy will be included in the electricity received by Watertown customers. Tuesday night, the Town Council cleared the way for the Town to negotiate “green” electrical contract for all residents and many business customers that will have a small savings, and will include a much larger portion generated by renewable methods. The new Community Choice Aggregation program will be an opt-out program, into which all residents, small businesses and organizations will be enrolled automatically. The goal is to have 50 percent of the energy generated by renewable sources (such as solar, wind generated and hydro), and the rate will result in an estimated savings of $7 a year, said Watertown Energy Manager and Facilities Project Manager Ed Lewis. Watertown customers will have the option of opting for a basic rate (which includes the state required amount of renewable energy), for a plan with electricity from 100 percent renewable sources, or to opt out of the program completely.
Watertown may join a state program that would provide “greener” electricity to customers and would likely come at a lower rate than for regular Eversource customers. Ed Lewis, the town’s Energy Manager, presented information about the Community Choice Aggregation program at a last week’s Town Council meeting. The town’s Energy Office and the Watertown Environment and Energy Efficiency Committee (WE3C) are asking the Town Council to consider signing Watertown to be part of the program. More than 110 communities across the state have become a part of the program, Lewis said, including nearby communities of Arlington, Brookline, Cambridge, Somerville and Melrose. The program applies to residential customers, small businesses and non-profit groups.