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 after 60 day opt-out window

  • Town and school users are 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