Green Municipal Aggregation

On Monday, May 7th, article 19 was passed unanimously at Sharon Town Meeting. Article 19 authorizes the board of selectmen to begin the process of exploring energy aggregation for Sharon. Energy aggregation is one way to purchase clean, renewable energy rather than harmful fossil fuels to power our homes, schools, and businesses. It creates a more robust green economy for New England and a brighter future for generations to come — all at a competitive pricing structure.

Green Municipal Aggregation (GMA) in Sharon
Green Municipal Aggregation would allow Sharon to chose where its energy comes from. Instead of a massive organization like Eversource dictating how we power our homes, we would have input into what comes into our power lines.

GMA allows a community to seamlessly switch to cleaner sources of electricity for everyone who is on basic service, including residents and small businesses, and help move us towards a renewable energy future. When we bring renewables into the grid, we help prevent pipeline projects.

This is a process, enabled by a 1997 state law, that allows towns and cities to choose electricity that is generated in a way that aligns with their community’s values.

What Is Green Municipal Aggregation a.k.a. Community Choice Aggregation?
Green Municipal Aggregation (GMA) allows any Massachusetts city or town to combine all of its electrical customers into a single bargaining unit, which can then choose to discontinue its default electricity supplier (Eversource and National Grid for Sharon) and make its own decision about a different electricity supplier.

Spring Town Meeting Warrant Article 19 would allow the Board of Selectmen to pursue making Sharon a GMA community.

GMA Allows Us to Choose Where Our Electricity Comes From
Through GMA, Sharon puts the power (literally) in the hands of the town. GMA allows us to work with a  broker to select the best energy package for Sharon residents.

There are several potential goals for GMA; the Warrant Article urges that the goal be the lowering of Sharon’s carbon footprint. Electricity generation is a major source of climate change-causing pollution.

GMA Changes Would Be Seamless for Electricity Customers

The electrical supplier would change, but distribution (power lines, etc.) and billing would still be through Sharon’s current utility (Eversource/National Grid), making the transition easy for Sharon’s electricity customers.

How Would GMA Lead to an Increase in Renewable Sources of Electricity?
Currently, Sharon residents get only the state-mandated 12% of our electricity from non-fossil fuel sources, and this could be increased by switching to a renewable energy supplier for little, if any, additional cost. By law, any household can easily opt out at any time at no cost and can opt in later if they choose. Customers will continue to pay just one electricity bill. No change in infrastructure is required; electricity will continue to arrive using the same wires as today. The only change would be that more electricity would come from high-quality renewable sources such as solar, wind, and digester gas, which means a decrease in electricity we buy that comes from fossil fuel sources.

What Does This Mean for Sharon?
Increasing our renewable sources of electricity through the GMA process is the single biggest step that Sharon can take to significantly reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and have an impact on climate change right now.

In addition, the process provides more consumer protection and transparency as the final plan must be reviewed and approved.

How Can You Help?
Please come to future informational sessions to learn more about aggregation. We’d also love your help spreading the word about what a huge benefit GMA would be for Sharon. Contact us to let us know you are interested.

For more information and for documents to share, check out these printables.

Green Municipal Aggregation Talking Points

Green Municipal Aggregation Fact Sheet

Green Municipal Aggregation in Massachusetts by Mass Energy
Green Municipal Aggregation in Massachusetts by Mass Energy