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LETTER: Let’s Encourage GELD To Become A ‘Clean Energy Leader’

To The Editor,

   I am coordinator for the Municipal Light Plant evaluation group for Massachusetts Climate Action Network. I am writing this letter to ask local ratepayers to encourage your local utility, Groton Electric Light Department, to become a clean energy leader.   

   Massachusetts ranks number one in energy efficiency and “community empowerment” in two energy scorecards, but those rankings do not include Municipal Light Plants (MLPs) such as GELD. I learned this when I worked on the MLP scorecard for Massachusetts Climate Action Network. MLPs such as GELD have greater flexibility to bypass bureaucratic processes and be more innovative than investor-owned utilities. 

   The problem is that up until this point, most haven’t. Our research found that no MLP met the Renewable Portfolio Standard in 2017, sixteen are misrepresenting their energy portfolios to their customers, and none are yet running effective energy efficiency programs.

   GELD scored only 39 points out of 100 on our performance report card. Groton did well at allowing for customer input in a survey, but has significant room for improvement in the clean energy category. Although the utility provided 27% non-emitting energy to its customers from nuclear and some Niagara Falls, it provided 0% renewable energy. Groton is not required to meet the Renewable Portfolio Standard, but it could come very close with a few easy policy tweaks. 

   This report card came out of our five summits working with activists in thirty MLP towns. Local activists in Groton could make a difference by directly participating with their publicly-owned utility. 

  We are here and ready to help Municipal Light Plants take the next steps to be clean energy leaders, if they are ready to move forward. Customers in Groton who care about climate change and sustainability can look up the report, data, and learn more online at


Oriana Reilly

Muni Program Coordinator

Mass Climate Action Network

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