SHIRLEY — The Community energy aggregation concept that Town Meeting approved in 2015 should be rolling out by the end of the month, with public notices sent to all residents who are currently National Grid customers, sketching out the program and giving them a chance to opt out.
Energy Committee Chairman Bryan Dumont told the selectmen at a recent meeting that if they approved the plan as presented, the aggregation agreement must then pass muster at the state level, specifically, the Departments of Public Utilities and Environmental Resources.
Basically, the town’s choice to participate in community aggregation allows Grid Smart — the consultant hired by the town to market its residential utility users as a block of mass buyers — to seek out an electric utility provider that will offer a lower rate than National Grid, the current provider for most of Shirley. Those who have already signed on with another company are not eligible.
Then, with the state’s blessing, Grid Smart will broker a deal to lock in the rate for a specific time period.
The switch happens automatically, Dumont previously explained and rate payers won’t notice a change, other than, hopefully, savings on their electric bills once the new plan kicks in later this year.
Selectmen signed the document. They also authorized Grid Smart to sell off residual energy credits the town earned via Net Metering. The town built up “substantial credits” by using less energy than it paid for in the municipal buildings covered by the 2013 Net Metering agreement, Dumont said.