1. Citing 'misrepresentations,' state rejects electricity buying cooperative for 35 WMass communities

    Citing 'misrepresentations,' state rejects electricity buying cooperative for 35 WMass communities

    In a stinging rebuke, the state has issued an order rejecting the Hampshire Council of Governments' long-sought effort to form a multi-community electricity purchasing cooperative. The DPU approval was required for the energy cooperative to eventually operate. The DPU said the HCOG not only failed to provide transparent information to the 35 communities involved, but misrepresented aspects of the proposed energy program, provided untrue information and tried to market it as a green energy initiative without being able to substantiate that.

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    1. During the evidentiary hearing, Hampshire Council stated that it could not guarantee taxpayer savings or customer savings as a benefit of municipal aggregation, nor could it guarantee that buying in bulk is cheaper. This is in clear conflict with representations provided in written materials.
    2. We are going to meet, and discuss, and satisfy the Department of Public Utilities objections.
    3. Given the records in these proceedings, and despite multiple requests and opportunities to provide these assurances, the Department has no evidence of sufficient opportunity for citizen review. Therefore, the Department finds that the Plans were not made available for citizen review.
    4. Hampshire Council stated that it did not have firm plans to offer voluntary green power options. As of the date of this Order, Hampshire Council's website states that Municipalities participating in its aggregation program will be offered an optional green energy program.
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