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Winchester launches drive for 1,000 homes on clean electricity

Ken Pruitt, Winchester Sustainability director, calls WinPower, “electricity by Winchester, for Winchester.”

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As Earth Month rolls around once more, you may hear the familiar calls to “reduce, reuse, recycle.”  While many people might want to do something, they don’t know what’s really going to make a difference. How to be sure residents are not falling for a scam or “greenwashing?”

This Earth Month, Winchester residents can take a step toward sustainability by examining their electric bill. Participating in the Town of Winchester’s 2024 Clean Electricity initiative can support the town’s goal of 1,000 homes on clean electricity.

Why a goal of 1,000 homes on clean electricity?  According to Winchester’s Climate Action Advisory Committee Chair Rick Eno, the power Winchester homeowners use to heat and cool their homes is the largest source of carbon pollution in town. 

If it’s so straightforward, safe, and affordable…why hasn’t everyone in town already enrolled in WinPower 100?

“Good question,” said Ken Pruitt, Winchester Sustainability director. “One challenge is most people don’t think about their electricity unless the power goes out. Another challenge is that unscrupulous private electricity suppliers have been sending misleading marketing materials to Winchester homes, causing confusion.

“Remember that WinPower is the only electricity program offered by our Town,” Pruitt continued.  “It is electricity by Winchester, for Winchester.”

Pruitt explained that more than 90% of Winchester homes are enrolled in WinPower at one of three levels: WinPower Basic, WinPower Standard and WinPower 100.

WinPower Standard provides an extra 20% clean electricity above the minimum required by state law.

“However,” he said, “Making the decision to choose WinPower 100 means your home is powered by 100% clean energy, at a cost of just 1¢ per kWh more than WinPower Standard (16.6¢ vs. 15.6¢ per kWh). What’s more, at that price, WinPower 100 is still less than the current Eversource Basic supply rate for those not enrolled in WinPower.”

Residents can make the switch in less than five minutes by providing their Eversource account number on the Town’s WinPower website:www.winpowerma.com. Click on the "Choose WinPower 100" tab, fill out the very short form, and submit.

Winchester residents can also log into the state’s energy website, energyswitchma.gov, for more information on clean energy.

Wondering if you are already a WinPower 100 subscriber? Don’t worry — submitting a duplicate enrollment is fine.

 For inquiries, contact Sustainability Director Ken Pruitt at kpruitt@winchester.us.

Winchester News is a non-profit organization supported by our community. If you appreciate having local Winchester news, please donate to support our work, and subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

This article has been edited for clarification.

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