NASHUA — The mayor is proposing a new energy program that could result in a significant savings for Nashua consumers.
Aldermen have been introduced with a request to form a committee that would explore initiating a Community Choice Power program, which allows communities to purchase power on behalf of all Eversource customers.
“We estimate that if we undertake this project … we can save about two cents a kilowatt (hour), on average, on every Eversource bill, which for a residential consumer could mean about $150 a year, depending on their usage,” Mayor Jim Donchess told aldermen this week.
He believes the city could save $20 million, or possibly up to $25 million, for Nashua consumers throughout the next four years.
If aldermen agree to form a committee, that group would study the Community Choice Power program and make its recommendation to aldermen. Aldermen would then vote on whether the city should participate in the program.
Every Eversource customer in Nashua would benefit from the initiative, according to Donchess, who said Eversource would continue distributing the power, but the fee per kilowatt hour would be less.
Customers would opt to become part of the Community Choice Power project, or they could opt out, according to Donchess.
He noted that the city is already purchasing and selling energy, as the city and schools purchase power from a third party supplier. Donchess said Nashua also sells energy from its two existing hydroelectric facilities.
“I am proposing to the Board of Aldermen that we take the first steps toward Community Choice Power,” the mayor said in a statement.
Community Choice Power is a program that was previously authorized by the state legislature and enables the city to purchase power in bulk for Eversource customers.
The only difference that Nashua consumers will see is that the price per kilowatt hour charged in their electric bills will go down, said a release from the mayor’s office.
Doria Brown, the city’s energy manager, estimates that the average household spends $1,356 per year on electricity at 18 cents per kilowatt hour. If the Community Choice rate can be reduced to 16 cents per kilowatt hour, the average Eversource customer will experience a savings of $150 a year, said the release.
The proposal will be reviewed by an aldermanic committee for further consideration.