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New Green Worcester ElectriCITY Aggregation Program Contract Takes Effect in December

For Immediate Release: 10/14/2022 12:04 pm

WORCESTER – The City of Worcester has entered into a new, 12-month electricity supply contract with Direct Energy for the Green Worcester ElectriCITY Aggregation Program.

While the current contract with Direct Energy in 2019 has kept program prices low in spite of the recent and rapid rise of electricity prices nationally, Direct Energy prices will rise to market levels when the new electricity supply contract takes effect in December.

However, the new prices will be lower than National Grid’s record-high winter Basic Service prices (November-April). In addition, program participants will receive more of their electricity from renewable sources in New England.

To provide price relief during the summer months, the new contract will offer stepped pricing that moves lower for the final five months of the contract. The new price for the program’s Standard Green offering starts at 25.632 cents per kilowatt hour from December 2022 to July 2023, then falls to 16.912 cents per kilowatt hour from July 2023 to December 2023.

As an added benefit, over half of the participants’ electricity will be generated by renewable energy from the New England region – 22 percent required by state law already, and 30 percent required by the new contract (up from 20 percent in the previous contract).

Participants who have chosen to opt up to the program’s 100 percent Green electricity option will also see new, stepped pricing that starts at 27.491 cents per kilowatt hour from December 2022 to July 2023, then falls to 18.763 cents per kilowatt hour from July 2023 to December 2023.

While the new prices present a significant increase over current prices, they are well below National Grid’s upcoming residential Basic Service price of 33.891 cents per kilowatt hour, which will be in place through April 2023. For the average customer using 515 kilowatt hours per month, the difference between National Grid’s price and the city’s December-to-July Standard price translates to $42.50 in savings each month.

Together, Worcester residents and businesses enrolled in the program are expected to save an additional $18.8 million compared with National Grid’s prices this winter, on top of the $1.2 million already saved since the program launched in early 2020. However, because National Grid’s prices will change in May and those prices are not yet known, the program cannot guarantee to provide savings beyond April 2023.

The increase in renewable energy content advances Green Worcester Plan goals to decrease greenhouse gas emissions associated with the community’s electricity use. Adding such a significant amount of renewable energy to Worcester’s electricity supply is equivalent to removing more than 5,000 passenger vehicles from the road or eliminating the electricity use of more than 16,500 homes for the year of the contract.

Current program participants will receive a letter in the mail from the City of Worcester informing them of the new prices in the next few weeks. Participants will be automatically enrolled in the new contract with their December 2022 electricity meter read and do not need to take any action. The new prices will first appear on January 2023 National Grid electricity bills.

Program participants retain the right to opt out of the program at any time with no fee or penalty. For more information regarding the City’s Aggregation Program, please visit GreenWorcesterElectricity.com.

For ratepayers having trouble managing electricity costs, National Grid has launched a Winter Customer Savings Initiative that outlines ways in which customers can help manage their bills and seek assistance. Electricity customers can make their electricity bills predictable from month to month by enrolling in budget billing with National Grid, including ratepayers who participate in the Aggregation. To learn more, please visit the new website that has been launched to support this initiative: NationalGridUS.com/heretohelp.

Worcester’s ElectriCITY Aggregation Program is overseen by the Department of Sustainability and Resilience and is part of a suite of projects and programs found in the Green Worcester Plan to make the city more resilient, sustainable and equitable.  To learn more how Worcester plans to become the greenest mid-size city in America by 2050, please review the city’s Green Worcester Plan: http://www.worcesterma.gov/sustainability-resilience/green-worcester.

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