By Amaris Castillo
DRACUT -- Dracut and several other towns have received an honor for its municipal aggregation program, Town Manager Jim Duggan announced recently in an email to the Board of Selectmen.
According to Duggan, the Southeast Regional Planning & Economic Development Distract Electric Aggregation Group received the International City/County Management Association Community Partnership Award.
Dracut's partners in the program are Carver, Dartmouth, Dedham, Douglas, Fairhaven, Marion, Northbridge and Somerset.
Dracut's municipal aggregation program is the bulk buying of electricity with 22 other cities and towns. According to Duggan, residents enrolled in the program enjoy electric supply costs similar to those available to businesses via bulk purchase.
Town Meeting in June 2015 approved the program that residents are automatically enrolled in unless they choose to opt out. Duggan said the average Dracut resident saves between $150 and $175 annually through the program.
As of January, it's the third-largest electric aggregation program in the United States that serves 164,000 residential and commercial accounts in 23 municipalities, according to the town manager.
Duggan on Monday described the honor for Dracut and other ICMA members as fantastic.
"I'm very appreciative of recognizing the community on this initiative, and I'm especially thrilled with the fact that residents have been able to recognize savings within their electricity costs, and that saves them money, which is great," he told the Valley Dispatch.
The Community Partnership Award recognizes programs or processes that demonstrate innovation, excellence and success in multiparticipant involvement between or among a local government and other governmental entities, private-sector businesses, individuals or nonprofit agencies to improve the quality of life for residents or provide more efficient and effective services, according to the ICMA website.
"I'm happy that we were recognized for participating in the program," Selectman Tony Archinski said, "and I'm happy that the town manager is working diligently to save the townspeople money."
Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.