weston town crier
Letter: Concerns over electrical increases

Thursday, November 10, 2005

     The town of Weston should look into starting a town electrical utility. NStar is asking for electricity rate increases of at least 25 percent. For decades, several communities in Massachusetts have obtained substantial savings on their residents' electric bills through a town electrical utility. Their town can buy power where it's cheapest.

     If Weston wants to know how to start such a town electrical utility, they only have to ask Norwood. I lived in Norwood during the mid-1980s, a period of similarly rising utility bills. When the town of Norwood cut a deal with a Canadian hydro-power generator, it was nice to see the "fuel adjustment" amount disappear from the bill, a savings of about one-third! Service was also much better.

     After a hurricane in 1986, many communities (including Westwood, next door to Norwood) were without power for three to four days. Norwood had its power back on in not more than eight hours. Most customers (including ourselves) had their power back on in four to six hours. Local electrical department workers knew where all the switches were.

     This is an issue that affects every resident of Weston, not just those near the latest real estate development.

     Not all residents of Weston are wealthy. I live in a community of senior citizens with limited income. For most of us, this increase will be at least $15 to $20 a month.

     Judging from the reaction when rent increases of similar amounts have been proposed, many residents will be much more concerned about these rate increases than about the latest Regis College development.

     George F. Mohn
     Village Road