Quincy Community Electricity stuck at the DPU

QCAN has long advocated for Quincy to adopt municipal aggregation, in which community residents and businesses pool their buying power to purchase electricity in bulk, often securing lower and stable prices and often including a higher percentage of renewables in the mix. (In our 2018 and 2020 letters to the Quincy Sun, we specifically pushed for Green Municipal Aggregation, whereby the default electricity supply includes more Class I renewable content than is required by the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard and Clean Energy Standard.)

Thanks in part to QCAN’s advocacy, the city created a draft plan for Quincy Community Electricity, opened the plan for public comment and hearing, and submitted it to the state Department of Public Utilities (DPU) in January 2021. Only after the plan is approved by the DPU can Quincy put out a competitive bid for an energy supplier and get cheaper, greener electricity flowing.

Unfortunately, Quincy has been stuck too long waiting for the DPU to approve our aggregation plans. And it turns out we are not alone: On October 16, the Boston Globe reported that 32 Massachusetts cities have been waiting for at least a year and a half for the DPU to review their plans – while New Hampshire and Rhode Island process applications within 60 days.

According to the Globe, “Frustrated officials from Scituate, Cohasset, Uxbridge, and Westwood, which had all filed with the DPU in February 2020, sent a scathing letter to the agency on Sept. 30, noting a back-and-forth process that took as long as 930 days. They said 790 of those days were spent waiting for the DPU to respond to them, according to their compilation.” 

Quincy’s State House delegation, including Senator John Keenan, Speaker of the House Ron Mariano, and Representatives Bruce Ayers and Tackey Chan, also sent a joint letter to the DPU on October 14, 2022, imploring the DPU “to find the most efficient path to completing your review so that Quincy may move forward launching its long-awaited program.”  

Once implemented, municipal aggregation programs are a huge success, according to a new Green Energy Consumers Alliance report with data on the 215 Massachusetts cities and towns that have used aggregation or are working towards it. QCAN hopes the DPU moves on these plans for the sake of our climate and our citizens’ wallets.

– Julie Mallozzi, QCAN member