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May 05. 2014 10:06PM

Manchester officials: No issues with energy contractor



MANCHESTER — City officials on Monday said they remained confident in its energy services contractor, despite the efforts of a federal regulatory agency to sanction the company, Competitive Energy Services (CES).

The aldermen’s Special Committee on Energy Contracts and Related Activities met on Monday in part to address concerns about CES raised by a rival company.

The director of that company, Freedom Energy Logistics, had urged city officials to part ways with CES since it had been sanctioned by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for allegedly engaging in a “fraudulent scheme” that involved colluding with large clients in Maine to overstate energy usage. CES has challenged the penalties in federal court; the case is ongoing.

The contractor oversees the city’s energy needs with the goal of getting the lowest possible prices for fuel and electricity.

Tim Clougherty, the city’s deputy public works director, told the committee that he was pleased with CES and didn’t think the city’s contract would be affected by the federal case.

“From a strictly contractual basis, I have had no issues with their performance, and I’ve been in contact with the city’s legal office.

There are no concerns there either, as far as I understand,” he said.

Earlier at the meeting, an executive with CES told the committee that the “contracted rate” the city had obtained in its procurement of fuel and electricity resulted in $3.4 million in savings since 2009.

CES first won the energy services contract in 2009. It’s in the second year of a three-year contract that was extended last year. Clougherty said other companies would have the chance to bid when the contract is next up for an extension.

No one from Freedom Energy spoke during the meeting.

tsiefer@unionleader.com


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