Showing posts with label utilities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label utilities. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Representative Roy addresses MassSave payment delays with WCVB Channel 5

Representative Jeffrey N. Roy sat down with WCVB Channel 5’s Ben Simmoneau to talk about problems with Mass Save and the long delays and missing payments due to customers seeking rebates toward new heating units. Ben leads the station’s nationally recognized consumer reporting franchise, “Ben Has Your Back.”

MassSave is an initiative sponsored by Massachusetts’ natural gas and electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers, including The Berkshire Gas Company, Blackstone Gas Company, Cape Light Compact, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, Eversource, Liberty Utilities, National Grid, and Unitil. The sponsors of MassSave work closely with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources to provide a wide range of services, incentives, trainings, and information promoting energy efficiency that help residents and businesses manage energy use and related costs.

NewsCenter 5 took the complaints about processing delays to Rep. Roy as the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. Rep. Roy has also heard similar complaints directly and has been working with the utilities to make improvements in the service.

"It’s absolutely not satisfactory for there to be long delays in the delivery of payments," Roy said. "A reasonable amount of time to get these rebates is six to eight weeks. Beyond that is unreasonable."

At the start of the year, the state's utilities — which run MassSave — restructured the program with the state’s approval, slashing many rebates for natural gas, oil or propane while increasing money for electric heat and implementing new energy savings programs. The goal is to move homes away from heating directly with fossil fuels and toward what will soon hopefully be a greener electric grid.

Rep. Roy says the utilities blamed those changes for some of the delays. MassSave processes 100,000 rebate submissions every year, which requires a number of due diligence checks. Roy noted that helping folks get their rebates from MassSave is important for our climate change efforts.

But the processing delays are not the only problem. The two customers included in the report both had difficulty getting answers about their checks because of the complex relationship between MassSave and the utilities who actually funnel the money to the program.

Rep. Roy says if delays and communication do not improve, the state will force the utilities to fix it.

"There should be an easy way for you to get information," Roy said. "I don't care whether it's an email or a website, there should be an ombudsman available to address that."

After NewsCenter 5 got involved, both customers got their full rebates right away. MassSave blamed part of the delay on missing information on their applications, but also said both checks were held up by various processing issues.

For more information on Jeffrey Roy, please visit

Representative Roy addresses MassSave payment delays with WCVB Channel 5
Representative Roy addresses MassSave payment delays with WCVB Channel 5

Friday, July 8, 2022

Legal Notice: Conservation Commission - public Hearing July 21 concerning Mass Electric request for pole replacements/tree removal

Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 131, s.40 (The Wetlands Protection Act) Franklin Conservation Commission will hold a Hybrid Public Hearing on Thursday, July 21, 2022 at 7:03 PM on a Request for Determination of Applicability filed by BSC Group, Inc. on behalf of Massachusetts Electric Company for the installation of a stub pole and replacement of a utility pole, along with the removal of 15 trees within the 100-foot Buffer Zone to Bordering Vegetated Wetlands, as well as replacing a utility pole and removing a push brace within Bordering Vegetated Wetlands.

The Project is located along Maple Street, Map 242 between the intersections of Kimberlee Ave and Laurinda Lane, in the Rural Residential 2 Zone.

The hearing will provide an open forum for the discussion. This meeting will be done remotely via the “ZOOM” platform and “In-person” in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building, 355 East Central Street. Residents can visit the Town Website ( and click on the Town Calendar for up to date information on how to access the meeting.

All records and files for this project can be viewed at the Conservation Office located on the first floor of the Franklin Municipal Building.

Any person or organization so wishing will be afforded an opportunity to be heard. The hearing location is accessible to persons with physical disabilities. If you require a translator or accommodations for a hearing impairment, contact the Conservation Department at the Municipal Building or by calling (508) 520-4929.

Patrick Gallagher

Shared from the Town of Franklin page

Legal Notice: Conservation Commission - public Hearing July 21
Legal Notice: Conservation Commission - public Hearing July 21

Thursday, March 31, 2022

WBUR: What's the future of gas in Mass.? Utilities and critics have different visions (audio)

"New reports from the state's five investor-owned gas utilities offer roadmaps to the companies' future — and, in many ways, our own.

The plans call for a radical transformation of the Massachusetts energy and heating sector, betting heavily on the successful development of new, clean energy technologies.

Environmental groups were not permitted to participate in the drafting of the future of gas reports and warn that if the utility roadmaps fail, or alternative plans aren't successful, the state will not meet its ambitious, existential climate emission goals."


The Dorchester Gas tank in 2021. (Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images)
The Dorchester Gas tank in 2021. (Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images)

Listen here ->

or here

Thursday, February 25, 2021

FM #470 - Interview with State Rep Jeff Roy - 02/22/21 (audio)

FM #470 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 470 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares my conversation with Franklin’s State Representative Jeffrey Roy. We had our conversation via conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

We talk about: 
  • Indoor riding to prepare for his 19th PanMass Challenge
  • Thursday night continues COVID-19 modified rehearsal with Ben Gardner’s Boat 
  • Outlook for 2021
  • Pandemic, vaccine, oversight of Gov Baker and pandemic process
  • Committee assignment: Joint Committee on Telecommunication, Utilities, and Energy
  • What bills did you Intro/or re-introduce for this session
Links to Jeff's personal web page as well as his Legislative pages are included in the show notes. The recording runs about 42 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with Jeff.  Audio file =


Rep Roy’s State Legislator profile page which lists the bills he filed for the 192nd Session 

Rep Roy’s personal page 


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.
How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.
For additional information, please visit 

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

Rep Roy on his tour of UMass Medical in Nov 2019 as part of his visits to all 29 MA Commonwealth public colleges
Rep Roy on his tour of UMass Medical in Nov 2019 as part of his visits to all 29 MA Commonwealth public colleges

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Roy appointed Chair of Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy

State Rep. Jeffrey N. Roy (D-Franklin) was named by House Speaker Ronald Mariano (D-Quincy) as the new House Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy. The committee considers all matters concerning the exploration, exploitation and development of energy sources, including the siting of energy facilities, public utilities, wind farms, and the bottle bill.

“It’s a great honor to have been chosen for this assignment,” noted Roy, who is serving his fifth term in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. “These are challenging times and the sustainability issues, including the climate crisis, energy needs, and pollution are top priorities. I am humbled and honored that the Speaker entrusted me with this leadership post to face these challenges and help build a sustainable future.”

In the last session, Roy chaired the Higher Education Committee and led efforts to address financial issues on our campuses with the enactment of an act to support improved financial stability (Chapter 113 of the Acts of 2019) and make them safer with the enactment of an act relative to sexual violence at colleges (Chapter 337 of the Acts of 2020).

He also served on the special commission studying veteran’s tuition and the Harm Reduction Commission which addressed prevention and access to appropriate care and treatment of addiction. In addition to those duties, he serves as the House Chair of the Manufacturing Caucus which promotes making it in Massachusetts.

State Rep. Jeffrey N. Roy
State Rep. Jeffrey N. Roy

During his years in office, Roy has also served as Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Finance, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Ethics, and as a member on the Committees on Ways and Means, Judiciary, Education, Mental Health, Substance Use, & Recovery, and Labor & Workforce Development.

Since 2013 Roy has been part of the legislative efforts that have addressed the issues of education, economic development, the coronavirus pandemic, health care, substance use disorder, criminal justice, veteran’s services, seniors, housing, tax relief, civil rights, social equity, gun safety, energy, and the environment.

Also appointed to the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy were Minority Leader Brad Jones (R-N. Reading), and Reps. Dylan Fernandes (D-Falmouth), Joan Meschino (D-Hull), Jim Hawkins (D-Attleborough), David Robertson (D-Wilmington), Kate Lipper-Garabedian (D-Melrose), Richard Haggerty (D-Woburn), Steven Owens (Watertown), and Len Mirra (R-Groveland).

Thursday, July 16, 2020

FTC Alert: Utility company calling? Don’t fall for it.

Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission

by Jim Kreidler, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Every day, millions of people who have lost their jobs are making difficult choices about how to pay their bills. As the Coronavirus continues to spread, scammers are taking advantage of people's heightened economic anxiety. 

Their latest ploy is posing as representatives from utility companies to dupe people out of their cash and personal information by convincing them their utilities will be shut off if they don't pay.

Read more

This is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

"the increase will help fund ongoing infrastructure improvements"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Utility bills in Franklin this quarter were mislabeled with a typo showing old rates while residents were being charged with new rates. 
The higher rate, according to Treasurer-Collector Kerri Bertone, is the correct one, and the misconception will not be a problem next pay cycle because the error has been resolved. 
The bill system was updated, but the printing company contracted by the town, Globe Direct, did not update its template to match the town’s changes. The result was a misprint on the bill, causing some confusion among residents. 
Word about the error spread through the town’s website and social media. The Water Department won’t be re-sending the bill - a situation that, Bertone said, would likely cause too much confusion."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"the increase will help fund ongoing infrastructure improvements"
"the increase will help fund ongoing infrastructure improvements"

Friday, July 13, 2018

Franklin Residents: Notice from the Treasurer/Collector regarding FY19 Utility Bills

Attention all Residents/Customers who have received their Fiscal Year 2019 Utility Bills, the charges were calculated using the "new" rates. 

However, the old rates were printed on the bills under "Special Message" in error. If you have any questions, please contact the Treasurer/Collectors office at 508-520-4950.

We are sorry for any inconvenience.

Notice from the Treasurer/Collector regarding FY19 Utility Bills
Notice from the Treasurer/Collector regarding FY19 Utility Bills
This was shared from the Town of Franklin page

Monday, November 30, 2015

In the News: Holiday Stroll, family tradition for Nutcracker, intersession studies at Dean, double poles in MetroWest

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin

Downtown Franklin’s favorite holiday party, the annual Holiday Stroll, happens Thursday, Dec. 3, from 4 to 8 p.m., and organizers promise fun and festivities for the whole family with visits from Santa, Mrs. Claus, Post Mark the North Pole postman, refreshments, entertainment, crafts and gift shopping. 
Carolers and hot chocolate will set a holiday mood at the annual tree lighting ceremony on Dean College’s Dean Hall Common at 4 p.m. From there event goers will stroll through downtown Franklin to sample treats, enjoy entertainment and score shopping specials offered by more than 30 local businesses.
carollers on the Dean campus at the 2014 Holiday Stroll
carollers on the Dean campus at the 2014 Holiday Stroll

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

When the curtain rises on Franklin Performing Arts Company’s “The Nutcracker” this holiday season, Franklin’s Steve Crowley and Hannah Rezendes will share the stage as Grandfather and Clara Silberhaus. It’s a relationship the two know well. 
“I really like that he’s my grandfather in the show and in real life,” said Hannah, 13.

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The School of Continuing Studies at Dean College will offer winter intercession courses beginning Dec. 28. 
Courses are open to all ages and experience levels and will be taught in areas such as business, English, history, sociology and psychology. 
The Dean Leadership Institute and the School of Continuing Studies have partnered with industry leaders to offer two one-week course options, including “Negotiating Skills for a Complex World” and “Building Value Through Sales and Branding.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

In his travels around Framingham, Town Meeting member Joel Winett often notices two utility poles placed to serve the same purpose. 
He takes pictures of these so-called double poles and submits the photos to officials, hoping to get wires moved and the old poles removed. But, the double poles often remain. 
“When there’s damage (to a pole), they’re pretty good at putting in a new telephone pole and fastening the old telephone pole to a new telephone pole,” Winett said of utility companies’ responses. 
But, local officials say it is often a challenge to get all the companies to move their wires, a process that delays road work and leaves unsightly and unsafe double poles.

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Another short cut ....

utility short cut
utility short cut

You may recall I found a bunch of these short cuts around Franklin. This one is new and located near the corner of King and Forest Streets.

Additional short cuts can be found here

Do you know of short cuts to add to the listing? Let me know via comment or email.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Short cuts - update

When I had posted the pictures of the utility pole short cut I found at the corner of Mount and Summer St, there were a number of comments. One regular reader pointed me to the pole on Winter St. Another pointed out that all the poles are tagged with ownership. I had recalled seeing numbers on them but hadn't about the ownership. They are mostly tagged with owners although some of the acronyms are cryptic and or missing.

Yes, this is indeed a short cut. They left the bottom piece in as well as the top dangling.

Winter St pole - full view
Winter St pole - full view

Winter St pole - identification tags
Winter St pole - identification tags

This pole on Summer St will need to be addressed as the construction to re-do the street gets underway this year. The pole is on the section of street that Franklin will do, not the section of street that the state will do as part of the downtown improvement project.

Summer St pole propped upon the  curbing
Summer St pole propped upon the  curbing

Summer St pole - limited tagging
Summer St pole - limited tagging
If you find other examples of such short cuts in your neighborhood and can taker a picture to share, please send it along.

The prior post on the utility pole short cut can be found here

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Utility short cut

The utility poles are an interesting challenge in these days after deregulation. Who really owns the pole these days? One or more of the power companies? One or more of the phone companies? One or more of the cable companies?

Walking this past weekend, I happened to look up at one of the new poles put in recently along Mount St and found this cool example of a practical 'short cut'.

utility short cut
utility short cut

utility short cut - view 2
utility short cut - view 2

You can find this pole on the corner of Summer and Mount Streets here in Franklin.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Power line utility work starting

On one of my 'reporting by walking around' excursions, I found that some of the shrubs and underbrush have been trimmed back to provide access to the power lines. Several utility poles are placed nearby. Whether they are adding poles or doing maintenance by replacing older poles with new ones, is not known at this time.

underbrush cut back
underbrush cut back

power line view
power line view

new utility poles ready for use
new utility poles ready for use
 The poles are on the open space at the corner of Summer and King streets.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mount St trees and new utility poles

Mount St is one of my regular walking or running routes. It is a challenge to make the climb but worth every step. When I heard that "every large tree" was being removed to make way for some new power lines, I was concerned. I got out to Mount St last weekend to take a walk and some photos. Less than 10 large trees were cut leaving many others in place.

corner of Summer and Mount streets

three large trees down on the right approaching Summer St

midway up the hill, the tree line is still full

this monster of an old tree is still growing

another large tree near the slight curve before the crest

new poles are taller than the poles being replaced

The prior posting on the Mount St tree issue can be found here

Monday, April 18, 2011

Emergency utility work on Union St

Couldn't get through on Union St early Sunday morning? The Franklin Police had it blocked off to allow some emergency utility work. The police log for 11:35 PM on Saturday April 16th reads:

Emergency utility work on Union St at Cottage

When a car goes against a pole, the pole usually wins. In this case, it still needed to be replaced. No word on the condition of the driver from the police report.

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Live reporting - Public Hearing - underground utilities

F. HEARINGS - Public Hearing to Consider Removal of Utility Poles, Overhead Wires & Associated Overhead Wires and Associated Overhead Structures in Downtown Area – 7:10 PM

cost to Town minimal for this section, left off the prior notice
property owner has option to come in from W Central St
and if he does, this would avoid going underground

Mason - there is precedence to do this, the remainder of Main St is already done
I am going to back this one

no citizens to make comments

Town Council in favor of this section to proceed
A future action item will come up as there are by-law changes required

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Live reporting - Public Hearing - underground utilities

F. HEARINGS - Public Hearing to Consider Removal of Utility Poles, Overhead Wires & Associated Overhead Wires and Associated Overhead Structures in Downtown Area – 7:10 PM

Due to the clerical error, this is part of the hearing. No council vote tonight. The council has another public hearing on Oct 20th and after that, then they will be in a position to vote.

They walked the property doing a sidewalk survey to estimate the potential electrical cost to re-do the feed from the street to the house. Most were in the range of 0-$4,000. 

Those numbers sound rather conservative, once you get inside, the electrical code and updates.
The Town Council has an option to pay none, some or all of it.
The Town should not absorb a penny of this . Why should the tax payers pay for an improvement to their building.

G Smith - 
Nutting - Verizon charge is only on the land line, Comcast is only on the cable bill not on the phone, so it is confusing but the statute was done many years ago. The amounts are projected for the customer base.
G Smith - If the customer has both Verizon and Comcast would pay about $112. If you only have electric, you only would pay $12. There is inequity in this fee schedule. Considering the results of the last override election, it would be a charge against the will of the people

McCarraher - consider that the overhead wires are a hazard to the firefighters. It is a small part, but please look at it from the firefighters safety perspective.

Piana - Downtown Partnership sent letter encouraging this being done now as it is the only opportunity to do so. It is important to the esthetics's of the downtown appearance.

Piana - the majority of the membership do agree, of course, not all do. 

Mason - we are trying to get a consensus. Is there anyone who would like to speak. Any thoughts from the Councilors?

Kelly - The voters did vote down the override, I don't think I would support it at this time.

Jones - the major issue I have with this is the unknown costs for the property owners for what I have counted as a dozen telephone poles.

Vallee - I have mixed feelings about this, I am concerned about the looks, I am concerned about passing the costs to the citizens

Powderly - I am usually for investing in the town but I have a number of concerns about the unknown costs. We have to look at this project in with the other capital needs, we have the high school coming down the road, a large operating deficit, so at this time I don't think I can support putting this on the citizens.

Pfeffer - It was many years ago the Boston Magazine said we were 'seedy'. Since then we have been voted top town to live and top to retire. I don't think we can do it for only a part of the downtown.

Mason - We are always seeking the help of the voters, since there was the vote expressed three months ago with the failed override, I can see how we can do so at this time.

Whalen - the likelihood of needing an overrider for operations next year is good. 

Motion to close the hearing - passed 8-0

Franklin, MA

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Town Council - Agenda - associated documents

The Town Council has an interesting set of discussions coming up this Wednesday evening. With the long weekend and hence the opportunity to do so reading, I thought I'd share the full document.

The DelCarte property discussion will be on the Finance Committee agenda for their vote Tuesday evening.

Franklin is getting to cleaning up the tax/title property is has. Per discussion with Jeff Nutting, this should be an annual exercise but this first batch gets the 'backlog' handled.

Some clean up of unused borrowing authorizations is on the agenda.

Franklin is looking to become a "Green Community" and proposing a committee of five town employees in order to apply for some grant money that will assist in generating further energy savings.

The public hearing for the downtown utilities is proposed for the Sep 29 Town Council meeting.

Town Council 20100908 Agenda document

Franklin, MA

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Underground Utilities - survey results

The question was:
The results were

Yes - 22
No - 44

A convincing 2-1 ratio of No to Yes.

The survey had been introduced here

The collection of Downtown Improvement Project posts can be found here:

Franklin, MA

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Survey reminder

Friendly reminder that the current survey or poll question is still open for your input until Friday August

You can find the survey question on the top of Franklin Matters and in the center column above the calendar.

Franklin, MA