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Lower WinPower rates coming to Winchester in December

Winchester Sustainability Director Ken Pruitt shared comparative rate data that shows WinPower has collectively saved residents millions of dollars in lower electricity costs over time while delivering significant clean energy. COURTESY PHOTO/KEN PRUITT

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Winchester’s 2024 Clean Electricity Drive is making headway, with 487 households now signed up for WinPower 100, and a goal of 1,000 households by year’s end.

Winchester Climate Action Advisory Committee Chair Rick Eno shared this update at Spring Town Meeting while encouraging all residents to opt up to WinPower 100 to help the town achieve its climate goals. WinPower 100 is the Town’s electricity product that delivers 100% clean electricity to Winchester residents.

“Opting up to WinPower 100 to receive 100% carbon-free electricity is the fastest, easiest and probably cheapest way to contribute to our town’s climate goals,” Eno said at Town Meeting. “We strongly encourage Town Meeting members and residents to join our drive for clean electricity and opt up to WinPower 100 now.”

Lower WinPower rates on the way

At Town Meeting, Eno said the bottom line is that WinPower 100 is currently just 1 cent more per kWh than the WinPower Standard default rate. Eno said this means the cost for a typical Winchester home to opt up to WinPower 100 is currently about $8.50 a month, and with lower rates starting in December 2024, the added cost should drop to about $3 a month.

Eno announced lower rates are a result of a new three-year contract signed by Town Manager Beth Rudolph with Direct Energy, which also holds the town’s current electricity supply contract.

Ken Pruitt, Winchester’s sustainability director, said the new contract rates will decrease by about 1.5 to 2 cents per kWh for each of the three WinPower products — Basic: no extra renewable energy; Standard: 25% extra renewable energy; and WinPower 100: 100% clean electricity.

The benefit of electricity aggregation

Some residents may wonder how the town can supply electricity which meets or exceeds Massachusetts’ renewable energy standard and is less expensive than Eversource’s Basic electricity supply?

Pruitt said it comes down to the advantage of being an electricity aggregation community.

Winchester is one of 188 Massachusetts communities with a community electricity aggregation program, including neighboring Lexington, Arlington, Medford and Stoneham. Established by Town Meeting in 2017, WinPower pools the purchasing power of Winchester residents to provide households with electricity at competitive prices and with more clean energy compared to Eversource.

“Designed from the start to benefit Winchester, the town operates WinPower without a profit motive, ensuring that all benefits go back to the community,” Pruitt said. “We have three advantages that make WinPower successful: a professional aggregation broker who watches the market closely on our behalf, the fact that we can enter into longer (three-year) contracts than Eversource can, and our pooled residential and small business purchasing power. Combined, these tools give us the flexibility and leverage to negotiate more favorable terms.”

How does this translate into the clean electricity delivered by WinPower 100?

“Because of our ‘aggregator advantage,’ we’re able to negotiate an impressively low rate on WinPower Basic, which is an apples-to-apples service comparison with Eversource Basic Supply,” Pruitt said. “Then, even when we add in significantly more renewable energy, which is slightly more expensive, we still deliver impressive rates, with even WinPower 100 less expensive than Eversource Basic.”

Pruitt shared comparative rate data that shows WinPower has collectively saved residents millions of dollars in lower electricity costs over time while delivering significant clean energy.  

Eversource Basic Supply is the standard Eversource residential rate, which meets the state’s minimum renewable energy standard. 

How to opt up to WinPower 100

Residents can opt up in less than 5 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 form, and submit.

Wondering if you are already a WinPower 100 subscriber? Don’t worry: submitting a duplicate enrollment is fine. For inquiries, contact Ken Pruitt at kpruitt@winchester.us.

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