The Energy Consumer's Bulletin- a New England energy news blog

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Municipal Aggregation Comes to Rhode Island! Greener power at lower cost.

Blog headerWe're excited to announce the start of something good in Rhode Island. Seven cities and towns have adopted “green municipal aggregation” as a way to add more renewable energy to their electricity supply affordably. Here’s the Magnificent Seven: Barrington, Central Falls, Narragansett, Newport, Portsmouth, Providence, and South Kingstown. Better yet, starting in May, customers enrolled in these aggregations will pay a lower rate than what would be charged by Rhode Island Energy.

Customers of those seven communities who are enrolled in Rhode Island Energy’s “Last Resort Service” will be automatically enrolled in the aggregation program unless they opt out, which they can do now or at any time without penalty.   

In these communities, the electricity supply will include five percent (5%) more new renewable energy than required by state law. In 2023, the state mandate is 23%, so the aggregation will actually produce a 22% increase (5 divided by 23) in the amount of wind and solar in the mix. Most, if not all, of the incremental 5% will come from resources located right here in the Ocean State, as the map below shows.

RI Resource Map (March 2023)

What’s it going to cost?

The aggregations will charge 9.361 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for the product, compared to Rhode Island Energy’s 10.675 cents, but as said the aggregation product will have more local green power. For the average customer using 500 kilowatt-hours per month, the savings would be $6.57 per month.  

Customers also have the option of “opting up” to a product that has 50% or 100% local green power. The costs for 50% and 100% are 10.22 and 12.321 cents per kWh, respectively.  This table shows the details associated with each product in comparison with Rhode Island Energy’s Last Resort service.

  100% 50% 5% (Standard)  *Basic RI Energy Last Resort Service
Price $0.12321 per kWh through Nov 2023 $0.10222 per kWh through Nov 2023 $0.09361 per kWh through Nov 2023  $0.09151 per kWh through Nov 2023 $0.10341 per kWh through Sept 2023 
Renewable Content 100% 50% 28% 23% 23%
Action *Enroll *Enroll Enrolled after April 3 if no other choice is made (default) Enroll at community website Opt out at community website
*The basic plan does not include any additional renewable energy content; add more renewable energy to your mix by enrolling in the 100% or 50% plan at or your community's website.

The aggregation affects GreenUp/Green Powered participants differently. Click here, or keep reading, to see how.

switch to the aggregation

Barrington: Visit your community's website or call (877) 958-8969 

Central Falls: Visit your community's website or call (877) 200-8620 

Narragansett: Visit your community's website or call (877) 323-2778 

Newport: Visit your community's website or call (877) 323-3049 

Portsmouth: Visit your community's website or call (888) 387-1083 

Providence – Visit your community's website or call (888) 387-1084 

South Kingstown – Visit your community's website or call (888) 387-1085 

Whether you live in the Magnificent Seven or not, we're hosting a webinar next week to explain aggregation in detail.  You can learn about how the program affects you and/or how you can bring aggregation to your city or town. Register here to attend for free, and spread the word!

Register for the webinar

What happens after November 2023?

The aggregations have secured the rates shown above through November 2023. Before then, the community will secure new rates, probably for a contract of 1-3 years, depending upon energy market conditions in the fall. While it is not guaranteed, data from Massachusetts indicates that aggregations with 5-11% more renewable energy than required by state law have saved consumers over $80 per year over several years. Rhode Island Energy will change its rate in October. Remember, consumers in the aggregation can opt out at any time without penalty.  

What if I already get renewable energy from Green Energy Consumers? 

GreenUp/Green Powered customers will not automatically be enrolled in these programs, but we recommend you enroll in your community's 100% option. GreenUp will be automatically cancelled when you do.

Your Greenest Options!
  50% 100% RI Energy Green Up
Price $0.10222 per kWh through Nov 2023 $0.12321 per kWh through Nov 2023 $0.14141 per kWh (100%) or $0.12541 per kWh (25%) through Sept 2023 
Renewable Content 50% 100% 123% or 48%
Action Enroll. GreenUp will be cancelled. Enroll. GreenUp will be cancelled. To stay enrolled in GreenUp, take no action.

Many people in Rhode Island already receive renewable energy service from Green Energy Consumers through the GreenUp program facilitated by Rhode Island Energy.  If you are one of those people, thank you! You’ve been a pioneer. With that program, Green Energy Consumers “greens up” the Last Resort product at an additional charge that you pay through your monthly bill.  We are very proud of that program and see it as the inspiration for green municipal aggregation. But because aggregation works at a large scale, the cost per kilowatt hour is lower with the aggregation. For that reason, if you are in one of the Magnificent Seven, it makes perfect sense to switch your service from GreenUp to the aggregation.  That is what we recommend.

Whether you switch or not, you will get renewable energy from the same sources and you will be supporting our humble Providence-based nonprofit organization.  

If you switch to your municipality's program (have your account number handy): 

  • Nothing about how you pay your electric bill will change. You will still receive and pay the bill through Rhode Island Energy.
  • Your participation in Green Powered/GreenUp will automatically be cancelled. 
  • You will still support new Rhode Island renewable energy sources. 

If you do nothing: 

  • You will not be enrolled in the aggregation. 
  • You will continue to receive green electricity through Green Powered/GreenUp. 

solar - gma