Green Municipal Aggregation

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Boston Globe: An innovative state energy program is lowering emissions — and residents’ electric bills

Read the article in the Globe!

Green Municipal Aggregation is taking hold in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Municipal aggregation is the process by which a town or city purchases electricity in bulk on behalf of its residents and businesses. The characteristic that distinguishes Green Municipal Aggregations is that the default electricity supply includes more Class I renewable content than required by the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and Clean Energy Standard (CES).

2022 report on the success of Massachusetts GMA programs

Green Municipal Aggregation map 2022
How green is your town? Click below to find out.

 

Key takeaways from our 2022 report

 

Savings for consumers

  • Green Municipal Aggregation programs saved National Grid customers $78 annually.
  • That number can be extrapolated to infer that aggregation programs have save Massachusetts residents $208 million per year collectively.
  • On May 20, Eversource announced that its residential Basic Service rate for eastern Massachusetts communities (July 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022) would be at an all-time high of 17.871 cents per kWh. This will compare to the average aggregation rate for the same period of approximately 11 cents per kWh. The difference of almost seven cents per kWh amounts to $35 per month for the consumer using 500 kWhs per month, or $210 for the six-month period!

Support for renewable energy

  • By 2023, GMA programs will account for 1 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy demand. That's enough to support 300 wind turbines.

What is GMA?

Municipal aggregation is the process by which a municipality (a town or city) purchases electricity in bulk from a competitive supplier on behalf of the residents and businesses within the community. The fundamental characteristic that distinguishes GMA from traditional aggregations is that the default electricity supply in a GMA includes more Class I renewable content than required by the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and Clean Energy Standard (CES).

As of June 2022, Green Energy Consumers Alliance serves several GMAs by supplying them with renewable energy over and above the amount required to meet the state mandates: Arlington, Bedford, Brookline, Dedham, Fairhaven, Gloucester, Hamilton, Medford, Melrose, Millis, Milton, Rockland, Somerville, Stoneham, Waltham, Westford, and Winchester. Green Energy Consumers Alliance also supplies additional renewable energy for consumers in these communities who opt-up to 50%, 65%, or 100% renewable energy content.

Massachusetts and Rhode Island state laws allow a city or town to choose the electricity supplier for residents and businesses within that municipality. This is called municipal aggregation or community choice aggregation. It allows for important energy decisions to be made at the local level rather than by an investor-owned utility or by a for-profit competitive electricity supplier. 

Green Municipal Aggregation, or GMA, is a model we devised with energy broker Good Energy that adds more Class I or "new" renewable energy to residents' electricity at a competitive price. When a community decides to enact GMA, it goes out to bid for an electricity supplier and secures a long-term price and a cleaner electricity supply. That supplier replaces the utility's Basic Service, offers a more stable price (usually cheaper in the long run, too), and adds more renewable energy than required by state law.

We estimate that by 2023, aggregations will be supporting 1 million MWH of clean energy above and beyond Massachusetts requirements. Executive Director Larry Chretien gives an update on the impact of GMA in this 2 minute video.

GMA is coming to Rhode Island

By the end of 2022, we expect aggregations to be in operation in these Rhode Island cities and towns: Barrington, Central Falls, Newport, Portsmouth, Providence, and South Kingstown.

These communities are making significant progress in their quest to implement Green Municipal Aggregation (also referred to as Community Choice Aggregation or CCA).

  • In May, the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (PUC) unanimously approved the first four aggregation plans in the Ocean State for Providence, Central Falls, Barrington, and South Kingstown. We expect the aggregation programs for these pioneers in Rhode Island to launch by early 2022.
  • In July, Portsmouth filed its plan with the PUC. We hope it will get approval before the end of the year so that it may also launch its program in early 2022.
  • Newport is currently finalizing its aggregation plan and we expect it will file with the PUC in early fall.
  • Narragansett has passed a resolution enabling aggregation and is currently exploring the development of an aggregation plan.

How do I get my community involved?

If you’re interested in learning more about GMA or want to find out how your community can get started, contact Mikaela@greenenergyconsumers.org

If you want to see if you can switch to 100% renewable electricity via your community's GMA program or through our Green Powered program, start here.

Here is a list of participating communities:

Name Renewable electricity (added by default) Supplier (what you'll see on your electric bill) Website
Arlington 11% Direct Energy arlingtoncca.com
Bedford 10% Dynegy bedfordcca.com
Brookline 30% Direct Energy brooklinegreen.com
Dedham 10% Constellation New Energy masscea.com/dedham
Fairhaven 10% Constellation New Energy masscea.com/fairhaven
Gloucester 10% Constellation New Energy gloucester-cea.com
Hamilton 5% Constellation New Energy hamiltoncca.com
Medford 5% Dynegy medfordcea.com
Melrose 5% NextEra melrose-cea.com
Millis 5% Constellation New Energy n/a
Milton 10% NextEra miltoncea.com
Rockland 5% Dynegy rockland-cea.com
Somerville 10% Direct Energy somervillecce.com
Stoneham 5% Constellation New Energy stonehamcea.com
Waltham 10% Direct Energy waltham-cea.com
Westford 10% Constellation New Energy masscea.com/westford
Winchester 10% Dynegy winpowerma.com