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Walpole planning to implement new electricity program

Eversource

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The Town of Walpole has begun the planning process to implement the Walpole Power Choice program, a municipal electricity aggregation program.

By bulk purchasing electricity for the entire community within the program, Walpole will seek a lower rate than Eversource's Basic Service electricity supply rate and the price stability that comes with a fixed contract.

The program will launch once the Town's aggregation plan is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.

All Walpole residents and businesses that currently receive Eversource Basic Service will be automatically enrolled in Walpole Power Choice. Electricity customers who have already established a contract with their own electricity supplier will not be automatically enrolled.

Program participants will continue to receive and pay one bill from Eversource, and Eversource will continue to be responsible for delivering electricity to Walpole and for addressing power outages.

Anyone who participates in budget billing or is eligible for discounts from Eversource will continue to receive those same benefits as a participant in Walpole Power Choice, and anyone with solar panels on their property will continue to receive net metering credits as a participant in this program.

Participation in the program is not required. Residents and businesses that do not wish to participate in Walpole Power Choice will have the freedom to opt out of the program before it begins and remain with Eversource.

Residents and businesses on Eversource Basic Service will receive a letter in the mail 30 days before program launch notifying them of their right to opt out of the program and explaining how to do so. After program launch, residents and businesses can continue to opt out at any time with no penalty.

Walpole has engaged the external consulting team of Bay State Consultants and Peregrine Energy Group to help draft the aggregation plan, move the plan through the state regulatory approval process, educate Walpole residents and businesses about the program, and provide customer support once the program launches.

The planning and regulatory approval process is expected to require several months, and Walpole anticipates launching the program in early 2017.

The draft Walpole Power Choice aggregation program plan is available for public review until 5 p.m. on July 26, 2016. Those interested in reviewing it can access it online at the Board of Selectmen's website, www.walpole-ma.gov. The plan will also be discussed at the Board of Selectmen meeting scheduled for July 5, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. and available in hard copy for review at that time.

Residents and business owners are encouraged to review the plan and submit written comments by email to Thomas Gregory at tgregory@walpole-ma.gov or by mail to:
Thomas Gregory, Re: Walpole Power Choice aggregation plan, Town of Walpole, 135 School Street, Walpole, MA 02081.

Comments sent by mail must be received (not postmarked) by the end of the comment period in order to be addressed.

Walpole will also hold informational presentations before program launch. Dates and times will be published publicly.

For additional information and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit www.walpole--ma.gov/board-of-selectmen/news/walpole-energy-aggregation-plan

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