Shrewsbury Electric & Cable Operations (SELCO) in Massachusetts has adopted a plan with even more aggressive carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reductions than those set by the state.
Earlier this year, Massachusetts established guidelines for all utilities to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. At its July 26 meeting, the SELCO Commission, which approves budgets and sets rates for the public power utility, voted unanimously to adopt a power supply policy that provides a roadmap to 100% CO2 free power by 2032.
SELCO provides electric, cable, telephone, and internet services to residential and commercial customers in the Town of Shrewsbury.
The policy establishes a greenhouse gas emissions standard for the utility and provides a framework for future power supply contracts, as well as acquisition and retirement of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) in pursuit of net-zero emissions.
“We believe this accelerated schedule is in alignment with customer priorities, meets or exceeds community goals for net-zero emissions, and helps establish SELCO as an industry leader,” Christopher Roy, SELCO’s general manager, said in a statement.
The accelerated emissions reduction timeline positions SELCO to serve as the bedrock for a clean energy transition across all other sectors within the Town of Shrewsbury and “balances both fiscal and environmental responsibility, resulting in the average customer seeing a monthly bill impact of around $1 in 2021 and increasing to about $5.60 in 2032,” Roy said.
SELCO’s power supply policy will be reviewed annually by the SELCO Commission to confirm that the utility is meeting benchmarks in alignment with established goals. The annual review also aims to ensure market fluctuations, industry trends, changes in regulatory requirements and/or public policy are reflected in the utility’s roadmap to net-zero carbon emissions.
After vetoing climate change legislation in January, Charlie Baker, Massachusetts’ Republic governor, in late March signed comprehensive climate change legislation that commits to reaching net zero emissions in 2050.
The law, Senate Bill 9, An Act Creating a Next Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy, establishes interim goals for emissions reductions, significantly increases protections for environmental justice communities across Massachusetts, authorizes the governor to implement a new, voluntary energy efficient building code for municipalities, and allows the commonwealth to procure an additional 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2027.