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Town of Ashland Selects Competitive Power Supplier - ‘Community Choice Power Supply’ Initiative Benefits Ratepayers By Providing Electricity Supply Options - Ashland Becomes State's Fourth Locality To Choose Competitive Supplier

January 16, 2012

Ashland, Massachusetts – The Town of Ashland today announced the selection of ConEdison Solutions as its competitive power supplier for the Town’s 7,000 electricity customers. The selection -- made on a competitive basis – is part of the Town’s new “Community Choice Power Supply” initiative, a program for electric power supply that will help lower electricity costs for Ashland consumers.

Ashland now becomes the fourth locale in Massachusetts to select a competitive supplier for residential and small business customers.

“For the first time, electric customers in the Town of Ashland will be able to protect their interests as consumers through purchase options,” said Ashland Town Manager John Petrin. “With the authorization of the Board of Selectmen, the Community Choice Power Supply initiative allows the Town to provide local energy services in a way that stabilizes costs, promotes competition and ensures local control over energy supplies. This pilot program begins at a time with the winter heating months and associated increases in electrical consumption fast approaching and, therefore, may prove advantageous in assisting the Town’s consumers in realizing savings on their electric bills. We will monitor rates closely over the course of the winter and beginning of spring when new basic service rates will be set.”

The program creates competition among energy suppliers to help ensure competitive rates and gives the Town local control over energy supplies. The Town selected ConEdison Solutions on a competitive basis because of its ability to stabilize rates, its capacity to maximize savings opportunities, and its strong record of performance in the Northeast.

The program begins with the February meter reading for all ratepayers.

"We are proud to have been chosen to leverage the power of the marketplace on behalf of Ashland residents,” said Sam Morgan of ConEdison Solutions. “Energy users will benefit from our company's strong record of performance and service, our experience in providing electricity throughout the Northeast, and our proven ability to maximize value through our sophisticated understanding of the energy marketplace."

In 1997, the Massachusetts legislature approved structural changes that promoted energy supply competition and allowed local municipalities to introduce supply-related competition and customer choice within their jurisdictions. The Ashland program was approved at the Town Meeting in November 2010.

Under the State program, services provided to local ratepayers by NSTAR are now divided into two parts. The first part, which remains regulated by the state, involves the physical delivery of power over the wires to consumers. NSTAR, which directly charges ratepayers for this service, will continue to maintain these wires and read meters. NSTAR will remain responsible for maintaining the day-to-day reliability and quality of delivery provided to ratepayers.

The second part of electric service involves supplying the electricity running through these wires. This component is now a competitive service with the supply coming from ConEdison Solutions. Charges for the supply component of electric service will be incorporated into normal NSTAR bills, which will indicate supply-related charges and other standard billing information.

All eligible consumers of NSTAR “basic service” are automatically enrolled in this program. Ratepayers may “opt out” by choosing another competitive power supplier or by choosing to default back to “basic service” supplies provided by NSTAR. Those choosing to “opt out” must do so within 30 days from the date that the Town mails an “opt out” postcard and a Consumer Notification Form to ratepayers.

Consumers may also return to NSTAR’s “basic service” alternative after the initial “opt out” notice period by contacting either ConEdison Solutions or NSTAR and asking to cancel their accounts, with no penalty charge. If, however, a consumer participates in the program, chooses to opt out, and then wishes to return to the Community Choice program the ratepayer can do so only upon acceptance by the supplier.

Customers currently being billed on NSTAR's Basic Service Fixed Price Option who switch to Ashland's competitive supplier during the Basic Service fixed price term will have their fixed price term bills prior to the switch recalculated using the applicable variable monthly prices.

Customers already being served by a competitive supplier who switch to Ashland's competitive supplier may be charged early termination fees or penalties by their competitive supplier in accordance with their current contract terms.

Colonial Power Group, Inc., a Massachusetts energy consulting company, was chosen on a competitive basis to design, implement, and administer the program on behalf of the Town. “This program provides price stability, local control, and competition without adding a single dollar to the tax burden of Ashland residents and businesses,” said Brian Murphy of Colonial Power Group, Inc. “We commend the Town’s leaders for their ability to recognize an innovative new paradigm in energy purchasing.”

Ashland is the fourth locale in Massachusetts to select a competitive supplier based on the legislature’s initiative. The state’s first municipal opt-out aggregation was the Cape Light Compact, a consortium of 21 municipalities serving Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. The Cape Light Compact, which also uses ConEdison Solutions as its energy supplier, selected the firm on a competitive basis in 2004. The City of Marlborough and the Town of Lunenburg also have municipal aggregation programs.

About ConEdison Solutions
ConEdison Solutions is a leading energy services company that provides cost-effective energy solutions for commercial, industrial, residential and government customers. Based in Valhalla, New York, with offices in Burlington, Massachusetts; Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Chicago, Illinois; Falls Church, Virginia; Houston, Texas; Tampa, Florida; Durham, North Carolina and Overland Park, Kansas the company's dedicated team of energy professionals delivers a broad range of commodity, consulting, demand-side management, and performance contracting services. ConEdison Solutions creates customized programs and services tailored to help customers achieve their individual energy objectives and is accredited as an Energy Service Provider (ESP) by the National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO).

ConEdison Solutions is a subsidiary and registered trademark of Consolidated Edison, Inc. (NYSE:ED), one of the nation's largest investor-owned energy holding companies. ConEdison Solutions presently serves electric commodity customers in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington, D.C. More information is available at the ConEdison Solutions web site at Visit the Consolidated Edison web site at for information on all Consolidated Edison companies.

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Brian Murphy
Colonial Power Group, Inc
(508) 485-5858
(866) 485-5858 (toll free)

Christine Nevin
ConEdison Solutions
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(914) 629-2860 (c)

The Marino Organization
Cara Gentile
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(914) 715-6145 (c)

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