Learn About Solar Energy Sharing Tonight

Here is a press release we received from the Melrose Energy Commission.

Among the many creative options formulated to help people go solar is a new concept: solar sharing. This program connects two groups: 1) people who want solar power but do not (or can’t) have solar panels on their roofs and 2) those who have solar panels and would like to share their electricity (as well as the cost of the solar array).

Boston-based Yeloha is a new company that is offering this service. You can learn more about Yeloha’s solar sharing network at a free presentation hosted by the Melrose Energy Commission on Thursday, Jan. 28, at 7:15 p.m. It takes place at the Milano Center, 201 W. Foster St., Melrose, and is open to the public.

Nataly Cahn, Director of Energy Choice at Yeloha, is the featured speaker. She has been working in the New England area, establishing affiliate partnerships with installers, real estate developers, large commercial entities and a variety of local organizations, including the Vermont utility company Green Mountain Power who adopted the platform in September. Homeowners, businesses and individuals are all eligible to take advantage of the program.

“Our goal is to help people access solar in the simplest way possible,” explained Cahn. “Through Yeloha’s sharing network, anyone with a computer or Smartphone can participate. You don’t even need a roof. People can purchase solar energy at a reduced rate by signing up for this program.”

According to Amit Rosner, Yeloha CEO and co-founder, participants can save an average of about 10 percent on their electric bills through solar sharing.

In addition to saving a significant amount of money on monthly electric bills, solar sharing can also help address global climate change.

“This is an excellent opportunity to learn about new ways to support solar power in our area,” said Lori Timmermann, Melrose Energy Commission co-chair. “There’s no obligation to sign up and people will be able to ask questions after the presentation. Not everyone has the wherewithal to install solar panels.

This program enables virtually anyone to obtain the benefits of solar energy.”

Advance registration is not required. For additional information, visit the MEC website, send an e-mail to info@melroseenergy.org, or call 781-662-2616.


Melrose Representative Needed for Airport Advisory Committee

Mayor Dolan is seeking a Melrose resident to serve on the Massachusetts Port Authority Community Advisory Committee. The members of the committee represent communities that may feel the impact of Massport operations, including impacts from Logan airport. Their duties include making recommendations to the Massachusetts Port Authority on a variety of issues, and the CAC also has a representative on the MassPort board.

According to the legislation establishing the committee, the appointee should be versed in one of the following disciplines: Airport Operations, Environmental Affairs, Labor Relations, Public Health, or Port Operations. They must be able to attend the committee’s meetings, which are usually held at the end of the work day in Boston or surrounding communities, as well as meetings of their area subcommittee.

If you are interested in serving, please e-mail the Mayor’s Office at mayorsoffice@cityofmelrose.org.

MBTA to Hold Meetings on Fares and Schedules

The MBTA is holding meetings over the next two weeks on proposed fare and commuter rail schedule changes. There will be a meeting to discuss both proposals on Wednesday, January 27, from 6-8 p.m. in the Malden High School Auditorium, and a public hearing on the fare proposal on Tuesday, February 2, from 5-7 p.m. in the State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston. The MBTA has a complete schedule of meetings on its website.

Community Electricity Aggregation Update

Here is an update on our Community Electricity Aggregation program from our Energy Efficiency Manager, Martha Grover.

Now that residents and businesses are receiving their January electric bills from National Grid, questions are coming in to City Hall regarding when the new Melrose Community Electricity Aggregation (CEA) Program rate takes effect. The Melrose CEA Program is an electricity supply choice offered to residents and businesses as a way to stabilize and reduce rates over the 12-month contract term that began this month.

In November, all eligible National Grid account holders were sent a letter informing them of the program and offering the opportunity to opt out. The 30-day opt-out period required by Massachusetts law closed in late December. In early January, all eligible accounts not opted out of the program were enrolled with Constellation, the selected City supplier, as of January meter read dates, which differ by account. Enrolled customers should see the new rate of $0.09616 per kWh under the Supply Services section on their February National Grid bill for Jan-Feb usage. The rate will stay fixed through the Dec-Jan billing period on your January 2017 electric bill.

Here are the answers to some recently asked questions about the Program:

How do I know if I’m in the Melrose CEA Program? If you were on the default Basic Service Fixed supply rate with National Grid and did not opt out, your account was enrolled with Constellation. On your January electric bill, you will see a message from National Grid on page one under the Amount Due that says “Our records indicate that you have switched your supplier option to CONSTELLATION (MELROSE AGG) Supplier.”

What do I do if I mailed in the opt-out postcard by accident and I want to be in the Melrose CEA Program now? Call Constellation at 855-310-5567 to enroll in the program. Constellation will follow up with a phone call to confirm your Program participation. It may take one or two billing cycles for the new rate to take effect.

How do I join the Melrose CEA Program if I’m currently with another electricity supplier? In this case, there are additional considerations. Call your current supplier and find out if you are on a contract, when it expires, what the rate is through the end of the contract, and if there is a termination fee if you cancel the contract early. Compare your current rate to the 9.6 cents per kWh Constellation rate, add the contract termination fee if applicable, and determine if it makes sense to switch now or wait until your contract expires. You can call Constellation at 855-310-5567 to sign up for the Melrose Program. Constellation will follow up with a phone call to confirm your Program participation. It could take one or two billing cycles for the change to appear on your National Grid bill.

What will happen when the Constellation contract term ends? The City will monitor the Program with our energy consultants from Good Energy over the course of the contract. At some point later this year, the City will solicit supplier bids once again for a new contract and if a supplier is selected, all eligible account holders will receive opt-out letters with the new Melrose CEA Program rates for the next term.

How do I cancel participation in the Melrose CEA Program? Throughout the Program, you can terminate your participation at any time without penalty simply by calling Constellation. You will have an opportunity to re-join the Program when a new supply contract begins in January 2017.

How many accounts were enrolled in the Program? As of mid-January, of the 10,266 eligible residential and commercial Melrose accounts, 9,781 accounts were enrolled with Constellation. Only 485 accounts opted out.

Do you have more questions not answered here? Go to www.melrose-cea.com or contact Melrose Energy Efficiency Manager Martha Grover at 781-979-4195 or mgrover@cityofmelrose.org.

Fire Captain Jim Winslow Retires


I want to recognize Fire Captain Jim Winslow on the occasion of his retirement from the Melrose Fire Department. Captain Winslow is a second-generation Melrose firefighter, and on his last day, he continued serving the community, leading his group as they fought a house fire and dealt with a terrible tragedy. Please join me in wishing Captain Winslow a long and happy retirement.

Message from Principal Marianne Farrell

Here is a message that Principal Marianne Farrell sent out to the Melrose High School community today. The entire city joins with the Melrose school community in mourning the loss of this fine young man.

Dear Parents/Guardian:

It is with a very heavy heart that I can confirm the passing of Melrose High School student Robert Davey. Robert was struck by a train on Monday evening near the overpass of Lynn Fells Parkway and Tremont Street.

Grief counselors were made available today and will continue to be available over the coming weeks as students, staff and the community deal with this tragic loss.

Robert was well liked by students and staff at Melrose High School. We will remember his smile that would light up any room. He will also be remembered for his love of basketball. He was a dear friend to many, and will be greatly missed by our school community.

Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts as they continue to deal with this tragic loss.

Thank you,
Marianne Farrell
Principal, Melrose High School

Important Message from Principal Farrell

The following message was sent out to the Melrose High School community today from Principal Marianne Farrell.

Dear Parents/Guardians:

As reported yesterday evening, an individual was struck and killed by a commuter rail train that was traveling toward the Highlands station. An investigation is still unfolding as to the circumstances giving rise to this incident. Although the state Medical Examiner has not yet released a positive identification of the individual involved, all indications are that a Melrose High School student is the victim of this tragedy. Once the individual has been positively identified by the state Medical Examiner, this information will be provided to our school community. We ask that you continue to respect the sensitive and confidential nature of this process as it unfolds.

Given the tragic circumstances surrounding this individual’s untimely death, the following actions will be taken:

  1. There will be no classes or exams on Wednesday, January 20th. Due to the circumstances mid-year exams have been postponed until Thursday, January 21st. Although, there will be no classes or exams on Wednesday, January 20th, the school will be open for students who wish to speak with a counselor.
  2. Grief counselors will be made available tomorrow for all students and staff at Melrose High School. ​ The school is open tomorrow from 7:45 to 3:00 for any student who wishes to come to school and meet with someone. The district’s seven school psychologists and eight guidance counselors will be available to speak with individual students or small groups.​
  3. ​Please see the revised Mid-Year Exam Schedule below.
    Sad News Regarding a MHS Student

Please keep this individual and their family in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.

Thank you,

Marianne Farrell