Hamilton CCA is committed to supporting the growth of new, local renewable energy in our region. The state of Massachusetts has progressive policies that require everyone to use more renewable energy over time, however, the pace of change needs to be faster to mitigate the effects of climate change. Hamilton CCA is leveraging the buying power of our community to bring more clean electricity to our residents and businesses.
A Green Option for Everyone
Hamilton’s’ standard option, Local Green, includes five (5) percent extra renewable electricity, above and beyond the State requirements.
Participating in Local Green makes you a climate leader. We also offer electricity options that add fifty (50) percent and one hundred (100) percent clean energy to let you take an even bigger step in the fight against climate change.
Buying from New England, Buying Renewables
All of the extra renewable energy in the Hamilton CCA program qualifies as MA Class I, and is provided through the local non-profit, Green Energy Consumers Alliance. Purchasing through Green Energy Consumers Alliance provides two important benefits for our renewable energy:
Only New England Sources
MA Class I renewable energy can come from New England or adjacent parts of Canada and New York. Hamilton CCA exclusively sources its extra renewable energy from within New England. We’re helping to keep our energy impact local, supporting New England’s clean energy economy. See below for a map of sources.
Only Zero-Emission or Methane-Destroying Sources
Hamilton CCA’s extra renewable electricity only comes from zero emission sources, such as solar, wind, low impact hydropower2, and sources that destroy methane, such as anaerobic digestion. Methane has a global warming potential (GWP) 28-36 times greater than CO2 over a 100 year period3. Combustion destroys methane and releases some CO2, resulting in a net reduction in GWP. Other forms of biomass are explicitly not purchased, due to their positive emissions of CO2 during their life cycles.
Green Energy Consumers Alliance helps bring new renewable projects to New England through strategic support of development opportunities with short and long-term contracts. The map below shows the sources from which Green Energy Consumers Alliance has been purchasing as of September 2020.
Helping to Build Clean Energy
Massachusetts requires all energy suppliers to include a minimum amount of MA Class I renewable energy that increases annually. If the supplier does not meet these requirements, the supplier is required to pay a penalty. This policy, called the Renewable Portfolio Standard, provides growing demand for renewable energy, which incentivizes new renewable generation facilities to be built. By purchasing a significant quantity of extra MA Class I renewable energy, Hamilton is incentivizing even more renewable energy generation development in New England.
How big is our impact?
Since December 2018, Hamilton CCA purchased about 1,645 of extra MA Class I renewable energy, above and beyond state requirements. That’s equivalent to 3,802 solar panels (370W) working for a year to generate the extra renewable electricity. Participants who sign up for Local 100% Green and Local 50% Green help our region increase the development of renewables and further decrease our reliance on fossil fuels!
Many other cities and towns are joining with Hamilton to implement the same type of electricity aggregation program, amplifying the impact on the renewable electricity market. In fact, recent estimates suggest that fully 10% of the entire MA Class I markets will soon be voluntarily purchased by municipal aggregations, like Hamilton CCA, going above and beyond state requirements.
1Future savings compared to National Grid Basic Service cannot be guaranteed because future Basic Service prices change every six months for residential and commercial customers and every three months for industrial customers.
2Hydro projects that do not exceed 30 MW built after 1997 or have capacity additions or efficiency improvements made after 1997 (MA Class I eligible), and Low Impact Hydro Institute (LIHI) certified.
3Environmental Protection Agency. Understanding Global Warming Potentials. https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/understanding-global-warming-potentials