The City of Lebanon has just contracted with a new electricity supplier to provide power to the municipality based on Real-Time Pricing. Freedom Energy Logistics of Auburn, NH and South Jersey Energy Company will be our new suppliers. This will be effective starting early in July and should save the City on its electric bill. In fact, if we had had this type of electricity brokering program in place in January of 2015 we would have saved over $220,000 to date.
The program that we have signed up for provides electricity that will vary in price from hour to hour in a way that reflects wholesale electricity costs, but without the City having to go through the extensive process of registering as an independent load-serving entity with the Independent System Operator of New England, which regulates the regional electricity grid. It also offers a month-by-month contract, which is very convenient as it will allow the City flexibility until our electricity needs can be met by our landfill gas project.
The only major disadvantage of this type of arrangement with Real-Time Pricing is a degree of budget uncertainty, since we will not know what electricity costs before we use it. A big advantage, though, is that we will generally be able to predict when prices are going to spike, and can adjust City electrical use to off-peak hours to save even more money.
The new Energy and Facilities Manager for the City worked with members of the Lebanon Energy Advisory Committee Jon Chaffee and Woody Rothe to explore the adoption of this program, and relied heavily on the advise and expertise of Councilor Clifton Below. The successful experience of Hanover with a similar program was also highly encouraging.