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Norwood Selectmen drop electric rates

By Brad Cole
Wicked Local Norwood
Jul 29, 2013

NORWOOD — Norwood Light Broadband is dropping its electric rates by three percent for all users.
Roger Cotte of Cotte Management Consulting studied Norwood rates and found room for reduction. While examing rates, Cotte said they need to cover the operational costs while being competitive with other businesses such as NStar.

“The rates were recovering the cost of service,” Cotte said. “There were some additional revenues that were available.”

Cutting rates 3 percent will allow more competitive rates for its commercial and industrial customers, Cotte said.

“There was plenty of room to reduce the rates and increase competitiveness,” Cotte said. “This is a reduction in existing rates going forward.”

Before the reduction, 40 of the 49 businesses were paying rates six to eight percent higher than NStar. The remaining nine business’s rates were three to four percent higher.

“The industrial rate will now be more in line with NStar. It’s more competitive with NStar,” Selectman Paul Bishop said.

Residential and commercial customers also see a cut.

“A typical resident customer is saving 18 percent compared to NStar,” Cotte said, and this reduction will lead to further savings.

The 1,936 commercial customers will also benefit, though smaller companies will still be paying more than NStar’s rate. Prior to the cut, smaller commercial customers were paying 20 percent more than a comparable NStar rate, while larger commercial customers were paying two percent less.

Selectmen unanimously voted to cut the rates at their Tuesday, July 23, meeting. This reduction will lead to $1.56 million in savings for Norwood Electric Light Department customers.

“I think it is a good thing for our people, to give a little back for a change,” Selectman Allan Howard said.

Light Department Superintendent Malcolm McDonald said the last time the electric rates increased was in August 2010.

“I think this is positive for all the electric light customers in the Town of Norwood,” Selectmen chairman Bill Plasko said.

Staff writer Brad Cole can be reached at 781-433-8339 or