Selectmen Get RMLD Update

The Board of Selectmen received its bi-annual update from the Reading Municipal Light Department at its meeting on March 7. RMLD General Manager Colleen O’Brien started the update by highlighting some initiatives that the Department has made in the last year to help increase efficiency and reduce customer costs. These include the “Shave the Peak” program, which seeks to reduce the cost that RMLD has to pay for energy year round by reducing energy consumed on days of peak usage. O’Brien also spoke about initiatives in community solar power and a grant application to receive electric car charging stations placed in town as a result of the $2 billion settlement with Volkswagen over emissions reporting on their vehicles. It was also reported to the Board that the average RMLD customer using 750 kw of power in December 2016 payed a $110 electric bill. This amount is substantially lower than the $152 a National Grid customer would have paid or the $148 a Boston Edison customer would have payed. The Board asked questions about how advertising these low electric rates could be used to attract businesses to Reading.

Hamid Jaffari, RMLD Director of Engineering and Operations, shared the maintenance schedule for power lines, sub stations, and poles. Only about half of the poles in Reading are owned by RMLD, the rest are owned by Verizon. Maintenance coordination can sometimes be a challenge, Jaffari reported. A report was also given regarding progress on the three year plan to change Reading’s street lights to more efficient LED lights. The project is on schedule and is half completed. RMLD will make a full report at Town Meeting.


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