Municipal aggregation is allowed under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 164 Section 134. More than 140 cities and towns in Massachusetts already operate active electricity aggregation programs, and other nearby communities are actively pursuing similar programs.
By default, customers receive “Basic Service” electricity supply from National Grid. Under a municipal aggregation program, like Hamilton CCA, all customers receiving Basic Service are automatically transitioned to the aggregation’s standard option. However, before the aggregation begins, all customers must be given the chance to stay with Basic Service, known as “opting-out”. After customers are enrolled, they can still opt out of the aggregation at any time without penalty.
In April 2016, the Town Meeting authorized the creation of a community choice aggregation program in Hamilton. The Town then selected consultant Good Energy, L.P. to assist with all aspects of program implementation. The Town developed a draft aggregation plan and subsequently solicited public comment. As required by law, the plan was reviewed with the MA Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and then sent to the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) for review. DPU subsequently approved the plan in December, 2017.
The Town conducted a competitive bid for electricity supply and secured its first supply contract to start in December 2018. Three options were included: a standard option with five (5) percent more MA Class I renewable energy on top of the State’s minimum requirements, a one hundred (100) percent renewable electricity option, and a basic option which only met the state minimums.
To continue with the program, Hamilton conducted another competitive bid to secure a successor contract. This contract will begin in December 2020 and continue through December 2023.