Energy Advisory Committee
At May 2021 Town Meeting the voters approved Article 30 to establish a municipal energy aggregation program which allows the town to purchase electricity in bulk on behalf of residents, offering price stability and more choices relating to how much "Green Energy" residents wish to purchase
Committee Mission: Provide direct assistance and advice to the Town Administrator and Select Board on matters related to the planning and implementation of Canton's Municipal Energy Aggregation Program.
Committee Scope: Assistance in recommending a consultant, designing plan choices, creating a communications program for program launch, and creating policies & procedures for ongoing (resident) customer satisfaction with the program.
Committee membership: 5 members of the public, with the time and subject matter expertise to contribute. Areas of expertise to target: energy sector, IT, legal & regulatory, marketing & communications.
There are several important stages we must go through before launching the program. Recently, the Town completed a review of its Aggregation Plan, including making this Plan available for public review and comment. This review period ended February 2, 2023, and we thank everyone who submitted comments and questions.
The next stage was to submit the Aggregation Plan to state regulators for review and approval. The Plan was submitted to the MA Department of Public Utilities (DPU) for approval on March 24, 2023. Those interested in reviewing the filed Plan can download it from the Town of Canton Electricity Choice website (https://www.masspowerchoice.com/canton ). The MA DPU review period for municipal electricity aggregation programs has been lasting between 12-24 months.
For additional information about Canton Electricity Choice and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the new program website at CantonElectricityChoice.com or call customer support with the Town’s program consultants at 1-844-202-6101.
Project Update - as of September 12, 2023
CEC REGULATORY APPROVAL:
- The MA DPU public comment period for Canton's energy aggregation request (a.k.a. Canton Electricity Choice, D.P.U. 23-27) concluded with 2 favorable comments an no unfavorable comments.
- The MA DPU held its public hearing on May 16, 2023, where Tom Birmingham (Chair of Canton Energy Advisory Committee) and Jen Wexler (President of Canton's Residents for a Sustainable Equitable Future) testified on behalf of the program (Town Administrator, Charlie Doodie also participated). There were no substantive questions asked by the DPU. Our outside counsel, Paul Gromer from MassPowerChoice, was pleased with the hearing.
- On July 7, 2023, we also filed our responses to the first set of information requests from the MA DPU in DPU 23-27. There were 32 questions, many of which had multiple subquestions. Most of them were pretty generic - questions asked of all municipalities, with the balance being specific to our Aggregation Plan. I don't think any would require any sort of amendment to our proposal.
CEC PUBLIC OUTREACH:
- Regarding our outreach efforts, the CEAC has hosted the following two community tables:
- The first was at the 4/22 Earth Day, which was sponsored and organized by Canton Residents for a Sustainable Equitable Future and held at the MA Audubon property on Washington Street across from the High School.
- The second was held on Sunday, August 6, at the Canton Farmers Market, which is located in front of the Rodman Building at the High School and runs every Sunday from 10:00 - 2:00 through October 22.
- While it is too early to ask residents to sign up for the program, these types of events give us a chance to promote the program and answer questions from the public.
- Two additional actions - one regulatory and the other legislative are worth noting:
- On August 15, 2023, the MA DPU opened up a generic docket (MA DPU 23-67), to establish guidelines for municipal aggregation proceedings. This is expected to significantly reduce the review period for these types of filings to ~90 days (from over 2 years). I am coordinating with Mr. Gromer to determine whether Canton should participate in a group submission on behalf of other municipalities. I will keep the Town Administrator apprised of next steps.
- Further, the MA Legislature has filed H.3852, An Act supporting electrical load aggregation programs in the Commonwealth, sponsored by Representative Tommy Vitolo of Brookline.
- H.3852 will empower municipalities with existing electrical load aggregation programs (also known as municipal aggregation programs) to more effectively update and operate their programs and foster the expansion of these programs to other cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth.
- The CEAC is currently evaluating whether to recommend to the Select Board to file joint comments with other municipalities in support of these proposed changes.