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LINCOLN, MA. The Town of Lincoln has signed an electricity supply contract with First Point Power as the electricity supplier for the Lincoln Green Energy Choice program. The program will launch in March 2021. A type of group electricity buying program, Lincoln Green Energy Choice will give Lincoln residents and businesses greater control over the renewable energy content of their electricity and over their electricity supply price. The program will offer three new electricity supply options, more clean electricity from emissions-free renewable energy sources like the sun and the wind, 22 months of electricity price stability as well as consumer protections. Lincoln Green Energy Choice is a town-sponsored alternative to Eversource’s Basic Service. The program also offers a transparent alternative to other commercial electricity offers in the marketplace, but without high pressure, excessive fees, or dubious environmental benefits.
“Our Town has established an ambitious set of environmental sustainability objectives,” explained Lincoln Town Administrator Timothy S. Higgins. “The electricity aggregation contract recently executed by the Board of Selectmen is an essential element of the Town’s plan for meeting these goals. The program, which will be launched under the name Lincoln Green Energy Choice, takes advantage of the community’s bulk purchasing power to provide our residents a cost-effective way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. We are grateful for the work of the Town’s Green Energy Committee whose efforts made the program possible.”
“Lincoln’s Green Energy Choice Program gives electricity customers in Lincoln new choices for their electricity supply,” said C.J. Volpone, a member of the Lincoln Green Energy Committee. “The program offers participants three levels of renewably generated electricity. Fully 22% of Lincoln’s CO2 emissions come from generating our electricity, so this program has a direct impact on our contributions to climate change. In addition, the increase in renewably generated electricity multiplies the impact of our electric vehicles, efficient electric appliances and heating systems, insuring these equipment choices are powered by low-CO2-emitting electricity generation.”
Lincoln Green Energy Choice is a type of program known as a municipal electricity aggregation. Massachusetts State law allows cities and towns to aggregate electricity customers within their borders and select an electricity supplier on behalf of those customers rather than having their local utility buy their electricity. Lincoln Green Energy Choice will not replace Eversource. Instead, the program will change participants’ electricity supplier and the price that Eversource uses to calculate the supply portion of their electricity bills.
Through Lincoln Green Energy Choice, electricity customers in Lincoln will have three new clean electricity choices:
Basic Green is the default program offering. New participants in Lincoln Green Energy Choice will automatically be enrolled in Basic Green for 11.725 ¢/kWh and will receive 27% additional electricity from renewable energy projects in New England (MA Class I RECs). Combined with the 18% (2020) and 20% (2021) renewable energy required by the state for all electricity supply, Basic Green subscribers will receive 45% clean, emissions-free electricity in 2021 and 47% in 2022.
Electricity customers that wish to receive all of their electricity from clean, emissions-free, renewable sources like the sun and the wind (100% MA Class I RECs) and are willing to pay a bit more can opt up to the Total Green option for 14.043 ¢/kWh.
Those who are more price sensitive can opt down to the Budget option to receive an additional 2% electricity from renewable energy projects in New England (MA Class I RECs) above the minimum amount required by the state for a total of 20% clean, emissions-free electricity in 2021 and 22% in 2022.
A key benefit of Lincoln Green Energy Choice is 22 months of price stability. The program prices are fixed from March 2021 through January 2023. The long duration of the prices makes Lincoln Green Energy Choice different from Eversource’s Basic Service prices, which change every 6 months for residential and small business customers and every 3 months for large business customers. Long-term price stability also makes Lincoln Green Energy Choice different from many commercial offers in the marketplace that offer low introductory prices that later rise or change. Please note that, because Eversource’s prices change and future prices are not known, Lincoln Green Energy Choice cannot guarantee to provide savings over the term of the contract with First Point Power.
In compliance with Massachusetts state law for municipal electricity aggregations, enrollment in Lincoln Green Energy Choice will be automatic for Lincoln electricity customers that have Eversource’s Basic Service. This includes any electricity customer that has not signed an agreement with an electricity supplier. Most electricity customers in Lincoln will be eligible for automatic enrollment. However, participation is not required. Customers may opt out before being enrolled, and customers are also free to try the program and opt out later with no fee or penalty.
Those who are eligible for automatic enrollment will receive a letter in the mail in January with program information and instructions for choosing one of the program options or opting out. This informational letter and envelope will have the Town seal on it. The return address under the Town logo will be C/O First Point Power because enrollment options will be handled by First Point Power. Enrollment will occur with March 2021 meter reads and will be seamless with no interruption in electricity service. Participants can expect to see the Lincoln Green Energy Choice price on their electricity bill beginning in April 2021.
Electricity customers who have already signed their own an agreement with an electricity supplier will not receive a letter and will not be automatically enrolled, but they are welcome to enroll at any time before or after the program launches.
Customers with solar panels on their property will continue to receive net metering credits as a participant in Lincoln Green Energy Choice, and those credits will continue to be calculated based on Eversource’s Basic Service price, not on the Lincoln Green Energy Choice price. Customers participating in Community Solar programs will continue to receive Community Solar credits.
Lincoln Green Energy Choice participants will see just two changes on their electricity bills: 1) Eversource will use the Lincoln Green Energy Choice price to calculate the supply charge portion of their bill instead of the current Basic Service price. And 2) First Point Power will be listed as their electricity supplier. Otherwise, nearly everything else remains the same: Eversource remains responsible for delivering electricity and addressing power outages in Lincoln. Lincoln Green Energy Choice participants will continue to receive and pay just one electricity bill from Eversource, and this will be the only electricity bill they receive as participants in the program. Anyone eligible for a low-income discount will continue to receive that discount as a participant in Lincoln Green Energy Choice.
Tax-exempt accounts will need to submit tax exemption documentation to the Lincoln Green Energy choice electricity supplier, First Point Power, to retain tax-exempt status.
Virtual public information sessions will be held as follows to provide an opportunity for the community to ask questions about the program:
- Two Lincoln Green Energy Committee presentations on January 21, 7:30 PM and February 4, 1 PM. Information about how to attend either of these presentations via video or phone is available at LincolnGreenEnergyChoice.com or on the Lincoln Green Energy Committee page of the Town website, LincolnTown.org.
- A Council on Aging Lincoln Academy presentation will be made on February 8 at noon. Information about how to attend via video or phone can be found on the Council on Aging page of the Town website.
- In addition, Lincoln Green Energy Choice will be on the agenda of the Select Board meeting on February 8. The meeting begins at 6:30 PM. Information about how to participate is available on the Select Board page of the Town website, LincolnTown.org.
Anyone who requires an ASL interpreter can make that request one week in advance of the event via the customer support form on LincolnGreenEnergyChoice.com or by sending an email to support@LincolnGreenEnergyChoice.com.
More information about Lincoln Green Energy Choice, including information about how to enroll, how to change from one program option to another, and how to opt out, can be found on the program website, LincolnGreenEnergyChoice.com, or by contacting customer support with the Town’s program consultants at 1-844-651-8919 or support@LincolnGreenEnergyChoice.com.