Rochester Closer to Cheaper Electricity Rates

The Rochester Board of Selectmen on July 15 signed the service agreement with Good Energy, the consultant that will negotiate electricity rates on behalf of Rochester as the town approaches official participation in the Southeastern Regional Planning & Economic Development District (SRPEDD) Community Electricity Aggregation (CEA).

            Voters at the Annual Town Meeting on May 20 approved joining the CEA, of which Rochester is the last of the 20 eligible municipalities in the region to join.

            The SRPEDD CEA was formed in January 2016 and renewed again in 2018. The next renewal is not until January 2021, however, so Good Energy suggested Rochester begin its membership in the CEA in the spring of 2020 on a one-year term at first, and then join the aggregation during its renewal in 2021.

            All Rochester residents will be automatically entered into the CEA and will not notice a difference in their electric service, aside from the lower electricity rate, and will still receive just one bill from Eversource. The only information that would be different on the bill would be the name of the electricity provider. Eversource will remain the distributor and still be in charge of metering, billing, and maintenance of the power lines.

            The CEA is an “opt-out” program, meaning residents who do not wish to participate are allowed to withdraw without any penalties at any time simply by calling Eversource to inform them.

            The CEA comprises 434,461 residences and has saved those customers a cumulative total of roughly $14 million between 2016-2019.

            In other matters, the board accepted a letter of resignation from Chris Post from her appointments on the Conservation Commission and the Capital Planning.

            Also during the meeting, Town Administrator Suzanne Szyndlar announced that renovations in the basement of Town Hall are now complete and will provide a second meeting room.

            A Household Hazardous Waste Day has been scheduled for Saturday, July 27, from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm at the Highway Barn located at 200 Ryder Road in Rochester, which will be open to Rochester and Mattapoisett residents only, with proof of residency required.

            The board is looking ahead at a Special Town Meeting for the fall, choosing October 28 and November 18 as tentative dates.

            The next meeting of the Rochester Board of Selectmen is scheduled for August 5. 

Rochester Board of Selectmen

By Jean Perry

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