Compact’s Benefits Recognized at Public Hearing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 12:00 A.M. May 15, 2014

COMPACT’S BENEFITS TO REGION RECOGNIZED AT PUBLIC HEARING

Program Successes Key to Support for Aggregation Plan

Mashpee, MA – A public hearing was held by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) at the Mashpee Public Library on Wednesday night.  Elected officials, leaders of organizations and consumers from across the Cape and Martha’s Vineyard spoke about the Cape Light Compact’s benefits to the region. More than 75 people attended.

The purpose of the hearing was to review updates to the Compact’s Aggregation Plan which was first approved by the DPU in 2000.  There was overwhelming support for the updated plan to be expeditiously approved. 

Formed in 1997, the Compact combined the region’s towns and consumers to provide a choice for power supply, energy efficiency and consumer advocacy.

State Senator Dan Wolf strongly supported approval of the updated Aggregation Plan. “We are fourteen years into an experiment that already has delivered tremendous benefits to businesses and residents across the region and has the potential to do much more in the future,” Wolf said.

Former Compact Chairman Bob Mahoney listed the accomplishments of the Compact during the last seventeen years. “The Compact’s first major effort was an intervention that brought $25 million to consumers from the sale of the Canal Plant by Commonwealth Electric,” he said. Since then, Mahoney said, the Compact’s combined programs have saved consumers in the region more than $450 million. 

Former state senator Robert O’Leary told the panel of DPU officials: “The Compact has achieved much since it was first established in 1997.  It has become a model, not only for municipalities in Massachusetts, but in other states like Ohio, Illinois and California.  There are literally hundreds of municipalities now doing what the Cape Light Compact pioneered.  They recognize the value of what we’ve done.  That’s something the people of this region can be justifiably proud of.”  O’Leary said that the Compact was central to future energy development and the economy on the Cape and Vineyard and urged the DPU to approve the plan without delay.  

Current Compact Board Chair, Dr. Joyce Flynn, said that she joined the Cape Light Compact because of the good work the organization does.  She pointed to the Compact’s support for development of 29 megawatts of solar projects across the Cape and Vineyard.  “The carbon savings combined with the financial savings will benefit Cape and Vineyard customers for years to come,” she said.  For an investment of $3 million the savings over the life of the solar projects is expected to be $64 million. 

Jay Coburn, Executive Director of the Lower Cape Community Development Partnership and Truro selectman, addressed how energy efficiency programs have benefitted his town.  “Truro may be one of the Compact’s smallest member towns, but residents and businesses here have received more than $1 million in support for energy efficiency over the past eight years.” These energy efficiency improvements translate into huge long-term savings, Coburn said.

Former state senator Robert O’Leary noted that no operation of this size is without critics.  He also noted that, “creating the Cape Light Compact was a highly collaborative effort approved by all of the town meetings and county organizations. There are critics and that’s understandable.  Some criticisms are at cross-purposes.  In the end if you look at what the Cape has accomplished around energy issues this has been a great success,” O’Leary said.

The DPU hearing is the latest step in a comprehensive public process to address updates for the Aggregation Plan. The Compact held three public information sessions earlier this year, and received 79 public comment letters. Most of the updates are clerical or administrative, reflecting changes that have occurred in the electric industry and state policy since the original plan was approved in 2000.

The updated Aggregation Plan and related documents can be found on the Compact’s website at: http://www.capelightcompact.org/agplan.

Written comments can be sent to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities through May 16th, according to the DPU public hearing notice.   

 ABOUT CAPE LIGHT COMPACT

Cape Light Compact is an award-winning energy services organization operated by the 21 towns and two counties on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. The Compact’s mission is to serve its 200,000 customers through the delivery of proven energy efficiency programs, effective consumer advocacy, competitive electricity supply and green power options. For more information, visitwww.capelightcompact.org.

 

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