Photo Credit: Kenneth C. Zirkel |This work is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

This May, Newport will be rolling out its Community Electricity Program, a program our Newport Energy & Environment commission first brought to the attention of City Council and staff back in 2019. I want to highlight a few exciting and positive aspects of the new program. In short, Newport is introducing more choice in energy supply to our residential, commercial and industrial electricity customers. We’ve been able to go out and secure new energy supply rates that are cheaper and include more electricity generated from renewable sources compared to the default energy supply offered by Rhode Island Energy. More info explaining how this works can be found at

I repeat: the new default electricity rate will be cheaper AND greener than the current standard RI Energy rate (28% of electricity generated from renewable sources compared to the mandatory 23% required of RI Energy). And for those that want to maximize savings, you can opt down to the “Newport Basic” option which is even cheaper. You can also opt up so that your electricity supply is being generated from 50% or 100% renewables. More information is on the website above, but if, for example, you use 500 kwH in a month and elect to opt up to the 100% renewable plan, your supply charge will only go up $15 per month compared to the standard default option. You can have all of your electricity sourced from renewable projects in New England for the cost of a monthly Netflix or HBO Max subscription. For those who can afford this, I urge you to consider opting up.

RI Energy is still charged with maintaining our electrical grid infrastructure and delivering electricity to your home or business. Your bills will still come from them and the delivery charges on your bill go directly to them. And if for whatever reason you want to stick with them as your supplier, you can do that, too, by opting out at the website above at any time without penalty. 

Customers in the Low-Income Rate Class (A60) will continue to receive their current percentage discount on the entire electricity bill. Budget billing customers will continue to receive budget billing for the Delivery Services portion of the bill. And customers that receive solar electricity benefits from net metering credits and/or Renewable Energy Growth Program payments will continue to receive those benefits. I’m so pleased that we’ll be rolling out this program in May alongside other communities in Rhode Island, including Portsmouth and Providence. Thanks to all who have helped us in getting here. 

Sean O’Connor

Chair, Newport Energy & Environment Commission