ACE logo for Town of Arlington MA

Starting in November, the default percentage of renewable energy for the Arlington Community Electricity (ACE) program will increase to a total of 100 percent, town officials say. At that point, Arlington likely will be the first community in the state to offer this 100 percent renewable energy product as the default option in the program. This achievement is a Net Zero Action Plan priority goal -- and one that the town is on the brink of achieving five years sooner than planned, a news release said.

This came about as the result of a competitive bid process that enabled the town to select a new electricity supplier for the Arlington Community Electricity (ACE) program with a 37-month contract term beginning November 2024 and ending December 2027.

“I am proud of our community for once again demonstrating tremendous leadership on climate with the signing of our new ACE contract,” Arlington Town Manager Jim Feeney said in the release. “We had an overwhelming amount of community support for the 100 percent renewable default product, and we’re thrilled to offer this product at an even cheaper rate.”

The new contract is planned to provide a fixed price for approximately three years, while the price for Eversource Basic Service fluctuates every six months. More than 15,000 residents and businesses enrolled in the program will see a change in price and a new supplier -- Direct Energy Services, LLC -- on their December electricity bill; that bill will reflect the November meter read.

ACE use increases renewable energy development

Purchasing extra renewable energy through the ACE program enables customers to contribute to increased renewable energy development in the northeast region, officials say. The increase in renewable energy is estimated to yield an additional 33 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy usage per year -- enough to power approximately 5,500 Arlington homes entirely on renewables. Renewable energy through this product includes solar, wind, low-impact hydroelectric and anaerobic digestion sources located in New England.

The ACE program has offered competitive rates from its inception in August 2017, yielding more than $10 million in cumulative savings to ratepayers (though it is noted that future savings cannot be guaranteed). The following chart includes pricing for all ACE products under the new contract compared to the current contract.

ACE Product Rates and Renewable Energy Content for 2024-2027 Contract

Product Rate ($/kWh) Rate Reduction Compared to Current ACE Contract Estimated Annual Savings for Average Residential User Compared to Current Contract Rates*
ACE Basic $0.13380 2.71 ¢/kWh $149
ACE Local Green (Default) $0.16230 0.97 ¢/kWh $53
ACE Local Greenest  $0.17430 2.36 ¢/kWh $129

*Based on the average consumption of 5,502 kWh/ per regular residential (R-1) household. Total costs of electricity for R-2 and R-3 low-income customers are lower than R-1 customers.  

The town says that the average customer enrolled in ACE will see a decrease of approximately $53 annually on electricity bills compared to the current ACE contract, depending on the chosen ACE product. This decrease has occurred across the electricity market since the last ACE contract renewal.

Customers have options

All customers are scheduled to receive more information about the new contract in coming months. Customers may change between the three levels of the program at any time without penalty. Moreover, those who opted out of the program may opt back into the program at any time.

Town officials say they understand that energy prices remain high and so therefore customers may always opt down to ACE Basic, the least expensive product offered through the program. Income-qualified customers enrolled in ACE can still receive discounts through Eversource. More information on energy efficiency and financial resources is available on the Town’s Electrify Arlington website in the “For Low- and Moderate-Income Households” section.

ACE customers will automatically transition into the new Direct Energy Services supply contract with the same product in which they are currently enrolled (levels shown in table above); no action is required to remain in the program. The ACE Local Greener (+50%) product will no longer be offered as part of the new contract; accounts enrolled in this product will be automatically transitioned to the default, Local Green product.

Additional information may be found online at https://ace.arlingtonma.gov/.

Background on 'Community Choice Aggregation'

In 1997, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts enacted a public policy enabling cities and towns to aggregate the buying power of individual electricity customers. This process is referred to as Community Choice Aggregation (CCA).

Through a “green CCA,” officials say, Arlington can make a meaningful reduction in its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions efficiently, affordably and with the added benefit of public education to bring better understanding to electricity bills, energy choices and renewable energy.

In August 2017, the Town of Arlington joined 60 other Massachusetts communities and rolled out Arlington Community Electricity (ACE, formerly known as Arlington CCA). ACE uses bulk purchasing to offer competitive electricity pricing and rate stability for consumers. The program offers three levels of renewable energy to consumers to reduce reliance on carbon-polluting fossil fuels.


This news announcement was published Friday, May 3, 2024, based on information from Joan Roman, spokeswoman for the Town of Arlington.