A model community aggregation program…

Joint Powers Agreement

In July 2017, Cape Light Compact reorganized as a Joint Powers Entity (JPE), under the Act Modernizing municipal Finance and Government that was enacted in 2016 by the Legislature. This Act allows governmental units to enter into a joint powers agreement for the delivery of regional services. All of the Cape and Vineyard’s 21 towns and Dukes County are members of the Cape Light Compact JPE, under the Joint Powers Agreement  (Updated 12/13/17).

The JPE is its own separate legal public entity, which can perform administrative and financial functions; including, but not limited to, contracting with third parties to apply for and receive grants; receive and expend funds, and hire employees.

Some elements of the JPE:

  • Board of Directors appointed by their towns’ appointing authority
  • Enhances financial accountability by:
    • Requiring independently audited financial statements
    • Treasurer functions are performed by a separate entity
    • Annual reporting requirement to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue
  • Offers express liability protection for its members regarding liabilities associated with JPE employees and programs.

The Compact has put together some FAQs that have more information.

Request for Advisory Ruling DPU 17-95
Response to Attorney General’s Questions regarding Advisory Ruling DPU 17-95

Historical Documents

Original Joint Powers Agreement

Town Votes to Approve Joint Powers Agreement

Aquinnah Barnstable Bourne Brewster Chatham
Chilmark Dennis Eastham Edgartown Falmouth
Harwich Mashpee Oak Bluffs Orleans Provincetown
Sandwich Tisbury Truro Wellfeet West Tisbury
Yarmouth

Town Votes to Approve First Amended and Restated Joint Powers Agreement

Aquinnah - not present Barnstable 121317 Bourne 121317 Brewster 121317 Chatham 121317
Chilmark - not present Dennis 121317 Eastham 121317 Edgartown 121317 Falmouth 121317
Harwich 121317 Mashpee - not present Oak Bluffs 121317 Orleans 121317 Provincetown 121317
Sandwich - not present Tisbury Truro - not present Wellfleet 121317 West Tisbury 121317
Yarmouth 121317

Aggregation Plan

The Aggregation Plan is a document required by state law that describes a dozen key items such as the structure of the program, purposes, funding, etc. Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) approval of an Aggregation Plan is required for start up of a municipal aggregation program for electric customers. The Compact’s original Aggregation Plan was approved by the DPU in August 2000 following a process of planning with the state Division of Energy Resources and the DPU, and local public hearings. The Aggregation Plan was previously viewed as a formation period document, however, the DPU has utilized the Compact’s Aggregation Plan as a model for other municipalities seeking to form their own aggregation and suggested the Compact consider updating the document in 2013.

1994

1995

1997

1998

2000

2001

2002

2005

2008

2013

1994

Barnstable County Management Plan Created

1995

Barnstable County Energy Committee Formed

1997

Restructuring Act of MA allows for municipal aggregation and energy efficiency

1998

CLC formed with town meeting votes

2000

CLC’s aggregation plan approved

2001

CLC starts energy efficiency programs

2002

Pilot for Power Supply begins

2005

Pilot ends and all requirements power supply begins

2008

Green Communities Act allows for “all cost-effective measures” for energy efficiency

2013

CLC asked by DPU to consider revising aggregation plan

On 8/27/13, the DPU sent a letter to the Compact asking us to review our plan to:

  • Determine whether the Compact should file a revised Aggregation Plan to reflect current structure and operations;
  • Consider removing obsolete terms and references; and
  • Comply with any applicable laws, regulations and DPU precedent and the forthcoming decision in DPU 12-124 (Lowell Aggregation Plan).

At the 9/11/13 Compact Governing Board (“Board”) meeting, the Board created the following process to comply with this request.

  • Inform Compact Member towns/counties and public of the Compact’s intent to review and possibly update Aggregation Plan
  • Have Compact staff and legal counsel to review the Aggregation Plan and propose revisions for Board consideration
  • Consult with Department of Energy Resources (DOER) on Updated Aggregation Plan
  • Hold a Board vote to release proposed Updated Aggregation Plan for public review
  • Open a public comment period on the proposed revisions/updates of the Aggregation Plan
  • Hold a Board vote to adopt Final Updated Aggregation Plan after public comment period ends
  • Submit Final Updated Aggregation Plan to DPU

On 10/30/13, the DPU sent a letter to the Compact affirming that the Compact may continue operating its municipal aggregation program, including solicitation of bids for energy supply.

At the 12/11/13 Board meeting, the Board voted to release the proposed Updated Aggregation Plan for public comment and to hold 3 public information sessions. Public information sessions were held on the proposed revised plan on:

  • January 15, 2014, at 7pm at the Mashpee Public Library
  • January 16, 2014, at 7pm at the Orleans Town Hall
  • January 30, 2014, at 5:30pm at the Oak Bluffs Library *rescheduled date due to storm on 1/21*

Cape Light Compact received public comments through February 7, 2014. Over 60 letters of support were received from member towns, businesses, institutions, residents, non-profit organizations and elected officials.

On 2/26/14, the DPU sent a letter to the Compact stating that they wish to have a revised municipal aggregation plan filed no later than 4/4/14, in order for them to review the plan in a timely manner.

On 5/14/14, the DPU held a public hearing on the revised Aggregation Plan at Mashpee Public Library.  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. There was overwhelming support for the updated plan to be expeditiously approved.

On 5/1/15, the DPU approved the Compact’s Aggregation Plan. To view the Order, please click on the link in the list below.

Links:
Aggregation Plan Quick Facts
Revised Aggregation Plan – Filed January 12, 2018 consistent with DPU Advisory Ruling
Revised Aggregation Plan – Filed May 11, 2015 consistent with DPU Approval Order
DPU 14-69 Order – May 1, 2015
Revised DPU 14-69 Procedural Schedule – November 3, 2014
Revised DPU 14-69 Procedural Schedule – October 16, 2014
7/22/14 Memo from DPU Hearing Officer on DPU 14-69 re: Procedural Schedule and Technical Session
DPU 14-69 Procedural Schedule
DPU 14-69 Notice for Public Hearing
Updated Aggregation Plan Complete Filing – Filed with DPU on April 3, 2014 (Docket 14-69)
Final Revised Aggregation Plan – March 12, 2014
Final Revised Aggregation Plan (redlined version) – March 12, 2014
Proposed Updated Aggregation Plan – March 2014
Proposed Updated Aggregation Plan – December 2013
Current DPU-Approved Cape Light Compact Aggregation Plan (2000)

Inter-Governmental Agreement

The Inter-Governmental Agreement is the governing document between Cape Light Compact and the 21 Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard towns and Barnstable and Dukes Counties, prior to July 1, 2017. Each municipality has a member who is appointed to the Cape Light Compact Governing Board.