Press Release

Town of Brookline Announces "Brookline Green Electricity"

Flexible program offers price savings, rate stability, and renewable energy options

June 1, 2017

Brookline – The Town of Brookline is launching Brookline Green Electricity, an aggregation program allowed by state law that uses bulk purchasing to offer monthly savings and rate stability to residents and businesses. After a competitive bidding process in May, the Town selected Dynegy to supply the community’s electricity, securing a 30-month contract term, from July 2017 to December 2019, to better protect consumers from market volatility. On May 25, the Town mailed the 30-day opt-out notice, required by the state, to Eversource account holders announcing the new supplier, the program’s three product options, and program rates.  Eversource remains the utility that will deliver the electricity, handle billing, and respond to emergencies and outages. Customers will see changes to only the electricity supply rates in their August bill. Delivery rates will not change as a result of the program. The opt-out structure is required by state law, to estimate volume of participation and encourage bidders to offer the most competitive rates.

In response to overwhelming support at November 2015 Town Meeting, the program provides renewable energy options to reduce the Town’s reliance on carbon-polluting fossil fuels. Customers will automatically be enrolled in the program’s standard product, Brookline Green, which adds 25% local renewable energy to the amount the state requires. To offer consumers maximum choice, the program also offers two alternative products that customers can select by calling Dynegy directly:  The Brookline All Green product provides 100% additional renewable energy. The Brookline Basic product, which adds no additional renewable energy, enables consumers to achieve monthly savings over Eversource’s current service. Federal tax deductions are provided for the two products offering additional renewable energy, offsetting costs consumers pay for the additional renewable energy content. 

Because Eversource changes its rate every six months, the program protects consumers from fluctuations in the market by locking in a competitive rate for 30 months.  In addition, though the Town cannot guarantee savings over the duration of the 30-month contact, consumers may see additional savings if Eversource’s rates rise. (See accompanying chart comparing program rates with Eversource’s.)

The Town worked with energy and aggregation expert, Good Energy, to vet suppliers and manage the rigorous bidding process. Out of the hundreds of electricity suppliers doing business in the state, only four met the Town’s rigorous criteria and were qualified to bid.

The careful vetting of suppliers is what attracted Frank Caro, Director of Brookline CAN, a senior-citizen advocacy group, to the program. “We are constantly bombarded by solicitations from third party suppliers. It is hard to know what service offers legitimate value.  The Brookline Green Electricity program eliminates the research and guesswork that goes into choosing a new supplier.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, electricity consumption generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions. Participation in the Brookline Green standard product will help Brookline displace nearly 34 million pounds of carbon-dioxide emissions annually, equivalent to the amount displaced by running twelve 1.5-megawatt wind turbines or by 34 megawatts of solar. In terms of energy consumption, the carbon emissions displaced is equivalent to that emitted from using 1.7 million gallons of gasoline or burning 16.5 million pounds of coal. “Although the state requires that 12% of all electricity purchased come from new renewable sources, increasing 1% every year,” warns Town Meeting Member Tommy Vitolo, “at that rate the state will not be able to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050.” Consumers can be assured that Dynegy purchases Massachusetts Class 1 Renewable Energy Certificates from Mass Energy, guaranteed to add new renewable energy to the power grid.

By providing 25% additional renewable energy, the standard Brookline Green product is more ambitious than any offered by the nearly 60 Massachusetts cities and towns with aggregation programs. The community’s response to this initiative has been overwhelmingly positive. “I’m not able to install solar panels on my house,” says David Leschinsky, Brookline resident, owner of Eureka! Puzzles, and president of the Coolidge Corner Merchants’ Association, “but I can afford to pay about $2.00 more a month to purchase 25% more renewable energy.  And, I can deduct the costs for the renewable energy from my income taxes, too.”

Werner Lohe and Selectman Nancy Heller, Co-Chairs of the Selectmen’s Climate Action Committee, emphasize that the program was designed to be inclusive and ensure that low-income residents and small businesses would have the opportunity for monthly savings and protection from market volatility. “The program offers three products to provide maximum flexibility. And, participants may opt-out at any time without paying a fee,” notes Selectman Heller. “The plan has been carefully vetted and it’s regulated by the state to protect consumers ,” adds Mr. Lohe.

The Town is conducting extensive community outreach during the opt-out period. The following public information sessions are scheduled:

June 6 at 6:30 pm -7:30 pm at Town Hall, Sixth Floor Hearing Room
Presentation to Board of Selectman with opportunity for public questions

June 12 at 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm at Town Hall, Sixth Floor Hearing Room

Presentation followed by questions and answers; hosted by the Selectmen’s Climate Action Committee

The Town also provides these resources to the community:

  • Visit the Town website www.brooklinegreen.com for resources and a calendar of events.
  • CORRECTION TO OPT-OUT LETTER: Call Dynegy at 866-220-5696 for inquiries about the opt-out period or to select an alternative product (Brookline Basic or Brookline All Green) in the program.
  • Contact the Planning Department at info@brooklinegreen.com or 617-730-2130 for assistance.  
  • For translation assistance, please contact the Planning Department at info@brooklinegreen.com or 617-730-2130.

(Sources: www.epa.gov – Greenhouse Gases Equivalencies Calculator)


Comparison of New Program with Eversource’s Current Service

CURRENT SERVICE

Eversource Basic Service

Electricity Supply Only

New Community Aggregation Program:

BROOKLINE GREEN ELECTRICITY

Alternative Option 1

Brookline Basic

Standard Product Brookline Green

Alternative Option 2

Brookline All Green

AMOUNT OF RENEWABLE ENERGY

State Requirement is 12% of electricity purchased, increasing 1% every year

0% added to

State Requirement

25% added to

State Requirement

100% added to

State Requirement

RESIDENTIAL

$0.10759/kWh

$0.10398/kWh

$0.11098/kWh

$0.13198/kWh

SMALL COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL & STREETLIGHTING

$0.10764/kWh

LARGE COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL &

$0.10834/kWh NEMA

DURATION

Prices are fixed for the indicated duration, starting with the customer’s first meter read in July, 2017.

See footnote*.

30 months

30 months

30 months

TAX DEDUCTIONS FOR ADD’L RENEWABLE ENERGY?

NA

NA

YES

Talk to your tax advisor

YES

Talk to your tax advisor

CONSUMER ACTION NEEDED

To opt out of the new program and remain with current service, return enclosed form  within 30 days of postmark on Opt-Out letter.

Call Dynegy to select

this option:

866-220-5696

No action required; automatic enrollment

Call Dynegy to select

this option:

866-220-5696

* Residential, Small Commercial, Industrial & Street Lighting rates change July 1 and Jan 1.
   Large Commercial & Industrial rates change July 1, Oct 1, Jan 1, and April 1.

NOTE: Refer to the official Opt Out Notice for program details, consumer options, and administrative fees.

Background on the Electricity Aggregation Program

  • November 2015    Town Meeting passes both a warrant article authorizing Town to purchase electricity on behalf of residents and businesses and a resolution urging the Board of Selectmen to purchase 25% more renewable energy through an aggregation plan.
  • April 2016   The Town conducts procurement for an aggregation consultant, in partnership with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. The Board of Selectmen selects Good Energy.
  • June 2016    The Board of Selectmen holds public hearings on the draft aggregation program.
  • June 2016     The Board of Selectmen votes to submit the aggregation to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) for approval.
  • September 2016    DPU holds a public hearing on the Town’s aggregation plan.
  • April 2016   DPU approves the Town’s aggregation plan.
  • May 2016   The Town conducts a rigorous bidding process for electricity supplier and selects Dynegy.

The Town of Brookline does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission to, access to, or operation of its programs, services, or activities. Individuals, whom are in need of auxiliary aids for effective communication in Town programs and services, may make their needs known to Lloyd Gellineau, at (617) 730-2326. Those who need effective communication services should dial 711 and ask the operator to dial the relevant Town Department.