Mayor Gary Christenson, City Councillor at Large Carey McDonald, Senator Jason Lewis and Representatives Paul Donato, Steve Ultrino, and Kate Lipper-Garabedian are pleased to announce that the City has received approval of its Malden Community Electricity program from the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU). Malden Community Electricity will be an electricity aggregation program that will provide new, City-vetted options for electricity supply and increase renewable energy throughout the entire community.
“This moment is a major step forward in helping Malden protect our residents and businesses from volatile electricity prices, while also combating climate change and bringing cleaner electricity to our community,” said Mayor Christensen. “We’re thrilled to start implementing this valuable program.”
Approval from DPU came after nearly a year of advocacy from the Mayor, Councillor McDonald and Malden legislators to highlight the urgency of Malden’s energy and climate needs and get the plan approved. Malden’s advocacy has also contributed to systemwide improvements at DPU that will make it easier for all communities to increase their renewable energy supply and create or amend their aggregation plans.
“I am thrilled that the residents of Malden will finally be able to reap the benefits of municipal aggregation. From the clear cost savings to the positive environmental impact, Malden Community Electricity is a great example of why the state needs to make it easier for communities to participate in these programs that pair climate resiliency with affordability,” said Senator Lewis.
"This is a huge win for Malden for consumer protection and climate action" said City Councillor Carey McDonald, who sponsored the Malden Community Electricity order. " I've heard so much support for this program across our neighborhoods, so I was very excited to hear about our approval- thank you to everyone who has helped get us to this point. We'll be joining over a hundred other communities in the state to negotiate bulk electrical rates on good terms for our residents and add more convenient renewable energy options. Malden Community Electricity will be a cornerstone of our equitable climate action strategy as we move towards greater electrification in our environmental justice community."
Now that Malden’s program is approved, the City will begin the process of soliciting bids for an electricity supplier and identifying a program launch date. Once the City has selected a supplier, it will conduct a community-wide education and outreach program. At that time, the City will be able to share the start date, prices, term length and renewable energy content of all the program options.
The City’s default offering will seek to provide cleaner electricity with more renewable energy, while also providing stable and competitive prices compared to the utility, National Grid. Malden Community Electricity will also offer two other options: one with 100% renewable energy, for those seeking the maximum climate impact, and one with just the minimum renewable energy required by the State, for those seeking to minimize cost. Municipal aggregation programs like Malden Community Electricity almost always result in lower electrical rates compared to National Grid’s default rates, in part they use the collective purchasing power of the whole community instead of one household. However, because utility supply prices change seasonally and future prices are unknown, the City cannot guarantee savings through the program.
When the program launches, electricity customers that have not already selected their own electricity supplier will be eligible for automatic enrollment in Malden Community Electricity’s default offering. These customers will receive a notice in the mail thirty days before the program launches explaining the options. Electricity customers that have selected their own electricity supplier will not be eligible for automatic enrollment but will be able to join the program at any time, if they wish.
Prior to launch the City’s mailers and public presentations will explain how to participate, or how to opt-out and prevent participation. Once participating, customers will be able to leave the program or switch their program option at any time, without penalty.
The City took its first step towards launching the program in May 2022, when the City Council authorized electricity aggregation. The City then hired a consultant and drafted its Aggregation Plan, which was submitted to the DPU in December 2022.
More information about the program can be found on the program website, MaldenCommunityElectricity.com.