How will community empowerment work under Massachusetts legislative proposal?

  1. Community makes the decision to enter into Community Empowerment contracts on behalf of all end-users in community
  • Decision process is same as under current law for Community Aggregation, MGL Chapter 164, Section 134                          
  • If a community decides “yes”, individual end-users can continue to choose whichever electricity supplier they want  BUT
  • End-users cannot opt-out of the Community Empowerment contract aYer 60 day opt-out window                            
  • Town and school users automatically included

2. Specific project decisions are per vote of community’s governing body: the process is transparent and democratic

  • Anticipate that most towns will use Energy Committees, or existing Community Aggregator, and a transparent RFP process to select projects                   
  • Communities can choose to cooperate with other communities in the state, so as to increase buying power
  • Requirement for public hearings and independent analysis              
  • Model Community Empowerment contract and technical assistance made available from CEC and DPU oversight 

3. Contracts are on a “contract-for-difference” basis:- Town and developer agree to a“Strike Price”: a fixed price per MWh

  • Once operational the project sells its energy into the wholesale market “Reference Price:”                            
  • The difference between the wholesale price (“Reference Price”) actually received by the project and the “Strike Price” is charged -or credited– to residents on a per KWh basis                           
  • This charge or credit appears as a line item on the distribution utility portion of the residents’ electric bills