Jun 10, 2015
Hi Stefanie, Great idea, and thank you for submitting such a detailed proposal! What should we think about in terms of the green power that would be part of Somerville's supply? How local should it be? Should we think of aggregation as a tool for changing the energy generation landscape in our region? Have other cities gotten to 100% green? Thanks!
Jun 10, 2015
Hi Oliver, All very good questions to consider, thanks for the feedback. Due to the word limits for each section, I'm not able to keep all of the information included now and also attempt to address your questions. Do you have any suggestions for excerpts that could be cut down or are not as compelling? I'll see what revisions I am able to make over the next few days. Thanks! Stefanie
Jun 12, 2015
Hi Stefanie, No need to answer all the questions now. If your ideas is selected as a semi-finalist, there will be opportunities to refine content. That said, you could consider just adding a reference to the "how-to" steps. Thanks!
Sep 2, 2015
Can you clarify whether you're talking about buying green energy in the form of RECs, or green energy in the form of a long-term power purchase agreement for a new facility? Thanks.
Sep 6, 2015
This is a great idea - well-done. The prospect of a group of municipalities banding together to leverage even more group purchasing power is especially exciting. I hope you and Somerville will later consider ways of turning the City's CCA experience into actionable lessons for cities outside the state.
As you and the City consider implementation of a new Community Choice Aggregation program for Somerville, you may want to recruit the state government as well as federal elected leaders into the effort. Massachusetts' Clean Power Plan should incorporate CCA policies, if it doesn't already, and the state legislature/governor may be needed to clear away legal issues with respect to collectively pooling multiple municipalities. (The state could probably even mandate by law CCA to be the default supplier system for all municipalities, or propose doing so as a negotiating tactic.) Sens. Warren and Markey, and the appropriate House members, can also help drum up public support.
On a related note, and out of curiosity, how is the default supplier currently determined in MA cities/towns lacking a CCA program? Is it simply due to the incumbent advantage enjoyed by the dominant industry owned utility in town? For those Somerville customers who choose to "opt-out" once a CCA is in place, perhaps a policy mechanism could be instituted to regularly remind them of the benefits of switching to renewables and make them reconsider. (It could even be paired with peer pressure/"here's what your neighbors are doing" strategies.)
Good luck and let us know how others can be helpful with the proposal!
Sep 15, 2015
Thank you for the question. Within the our proposal we allow for either RECs or local/renewable power purchasing, however we are not taking a stance as to whether we recommend the purchase of RECs or local/renewable power. The decision to as to where the renewable power will originate from is a decision that the power aggregator will make, however there exist examples (Marin Clean Energy) that allow the customer to purchase from both avenues.
Thank you for your thoughts regarding CCA and the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The determinations as to whether CCA would be allowed in the MA targets for the CPP will be left up to the state, however I don’t see why it wouldn’t be allowed. CCA is becoming widespread throughout MA, and as the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs will be makes the CPP compliance measures final, there is a strong likelihood that models such as CCA would become a strong compliance measure for the CPP.
In regards to the ‘opt-out’ component to CCA, MA is a competitive electricity market, and therefore a customer that has decided to opt-out can sign up with any power provider, however if the customer defaults and doesn’t select a competitive provider, they then default to their service provider in their region - which is then either Until, National Grid, or Evesource depending upon what service territory you are in. In regards to your comment about the reminder - this can be designed in the CCA and placed on each consumers’ power bills.
Thank you for your questions,