FAQs

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Redemption Rock

Quick Answers for PMLD Customers

Our FAQs are based on conversations and various questions and comments on social media; we hope this information is helpful to the residents of Princeton. Please feel free to follow up with the General Manager or any Commissioner. You can also send us an email. Thanks for being a Princeton Municipal Light Department customer.

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  • 1. Stop in and pay in person during our regular business hours: Monday thru Thursday 8am-5pm and Friday 8am-12pm. We accept cash and checks.
  • 2. PMLD also has a Dropbox, so you can leave your Check Payment at our offices 24/7.
  • 3. PMLD also offers our customers the convenience and ease of Paying Bills Online with safe, secure, BillTrust and UNIPAY.

    CLICK HERE NOW TO PAY ONLINE WITH BILLTRUST.

    CLICK HERE NOW TO PAY ONLINE WITH UNIPAY.
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PMLD offers our customers the convenience and ease of Paying Bills Online with safe, secure, Billtrust and Unibank. Click below to pay online now!

CLICK HERE NOW TO PAY ONLINE WITH BILLTRUST CLICK HERE NOW TO PAY ONLINE WITH UNIPAY

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New Residential Customers: Stop by our office or call to sign up for your service.

Renters: Please stop by our office so that we can complete your paperwork. A meter deposit is required.

Commercial Customers: Please stop by our office so that we can complete your paperwork. A meter deposit may be required.

To Discontinue/Transfer electrical service: Please call our office at (978) 464-2815.

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Please contact our office at (978) 464-2815 a few days in advance of the sale of your property. There is a final bill and meter read procedure that must take place before the closing.

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For safety reasons, please telephone us directly during PMLD Business Hours (Monday-Thursday 8AM-5PM and Friday 8AM-Noon) at (978) 464-2815 to report an outage. Do not send an email.

After Business Hours please call (978) 464-2928 to report an outage. Never assume that your neighbor has already called. Please make the call.

View and download our handy "What To Do In The Event Of A Power Outage" sheet.

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PMLD’s rates have remained the same over the last 5 years. A higher-than-normal electric bill can be the result of more days in a billing cycle, weather conditions (extreme heat or cold), a malfunctioning piece of equipment (well pump, heat pump, etc.), or additional electric load.

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First, request a free “HELPS” energy audit from the PMLD. Switching to LED lighting, using energy efficient appliances and motion sensors for outside lighting are common ways to lower electric bills.

The “HELPS” program offers rebates on energy efficient equipment and incentives for load management. Also, consider how you are using electricity; electric water heaters, space heaters, clothes dryers, and computers used for video gaming use substantial amounts of power. What can you turn off when it is not being used?

Pay your bill by the 20th of the month and receive the residential 5% prompt pay discount. (Approximately 90% of our customers do this!)

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The equipment in the house you are purchasing may be significantly different than the equipment in your current home. Potential home buyers should ask for copies of utility bills from the current owner. This is a first step; however, your usage may be significantly different than the previous owners.

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For 800 kWh/month (Average PMLD usage) Bill Rate Bill
PMLD with prompt pay discount 23.5 c/kWh $196.95
Eversource winter/fixed rate 23.8 c/kWh $197.40 (MetroWest)
National Grid winter/fixed rate 25.1 c/kWh $209.78
Unitil winter/fixed rate 28.1 c/kWh $231.00
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The best way to ask a question or voice a concern is to call the PMLD office at (978)464-2815 during regular business hours, Monday-Thursday 8AM-5PM and Friday 8AM-Noon or contact us here to submit a web inquiry form.

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The PMLD Manager (Sean McKeon) runs the day-to-day activities of the Light Department. The three-person elected Board of Commissioners gives guidance in the operation and establishes policies in consultation with the Manager. PMLD operates independently from the Town of Princeton, although we collaborate with Town Boards and Departments.

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Contact information for the PMLD Board of Light Commissioners can be found on the PMLD website under the Personnel & Commissioners site navigation button tab clicking here. They also welcome your questions and encourage participation at PMLD monthly public meetings. They are Princeton residents, and you may see them around town as well.

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The Manager of a Municipal Light Department, under the direction of the Light Board, has full charge of the operation and management of the Light Department. This includes the purchase and distribution of electricity, the purchase of supplies, the employment of consultants and contractors, the collection of bills, and the keeping of accounts.

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Yes, the public meetings are normally held at 4 PM on the second Wednesday of the month. Currently the meetings are held remotely. Details for access are on our website.
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Our website is a great source of information, and our Facebook page is updated with rebate information, updates on large projects, and the latest information during town-wide power outages.

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Electricity is delivered to PMLD via a 13,800-volt circuit originating from National Grid’s Westminster substation. The electricity is carried on National Grid’s wires to the Princeton town line where PMLD’s wires begin. PMLD wires carry the electricity throughout town and use transformers to reduce the voltage down to 120/240v volts for household use.

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PMLD does generate power using two 1.5-Megawatt wind turbines. Some of the electricity generated by the turbines is sold to Sterling and West Boylston and the remainder is sold on the “spot market”.

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The remaining debt on the wind turbines (as of March 2021) is $3.6M. PMLD is scheduled to complete payments in March 2027.

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There is more wind at night than during the day. Capacity factor (how much of the time are they producing power) is a good way to measure how much a turbine is running. Typical capacity factors are between 15% & 30%. PMLD turbines had a capacity factor of 16% in 2020. This varies year to year depending on wind and temperature conditions and if there are any equipment maintenance issues. The wind turbines are operated by MMWEC (Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company) operations center 24x7x365.

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Costs have continued to rise, however, PMLD has been able to avoid a rate increase for 5 years. We are working hard to control costs. After paying off the turbine debt, PMLD has deferred OPEB (Other Post-Employment Benefits) debt which we will need to pay overtime as well as fund the eventual decommissioning of the current turbines.

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Yes! PMLD encourages Renewable Energy usage through the Renewable Energy Rebate Program.

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If your power goes out during normal business hours, please call 978-464-2815. After business hours please call 978-464-2928 to reach central dispatch. The earlier we are aware of your outage the quicker it can be addressed. Do not assume someone else will call to report the outage. Please Note: In the event of a Major/Town Wide Outage, PLEASE ALLOW AT LEAST ONE (1) HOUR for the PMLD crew to Respond, Evaluate, and if necessary open the office phone lines.

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For town-wide outages or during major storm events check our Facebook page for the latest updates. For outages during business hours, you can call the office and ask for an estimated time the power will be restored. After business hours, there will be a recorded message with updates on outages.

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When a customer calls and reports a power outage the information is relayed to our line crew or on-call person after hours. The outage is assessed, and the appropriate personnel and equipment are dispatched to repair the problem.

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PMLD’s average restore times are faster than an Investor-Owned Utility, but at times can still be long in duration. The duration of the outage depends on the repairs that must be made. If a tree comes down and breaks multiple utility poles it will take more time to restore power than when a squirrel shorts out a single transformer. The PMLD is dependent on National Grid for repairs to their system outside of town.

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Energy conservation help is just a click or phone call away. PMLD is a member of Home Energy Loss Prevention Service (HELPS), a residential energy conservation service for Massachusetts municipal utility customers. HELPS provides energy education, home energy audits, assistance with home energy improvements and ENERGY STAR Appliance Rebates.

Check out our Rebates & Incentives Page. Or call HELPS at 1-888-333-7525 or you can also visit them online for more information.

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PMLD offers a Prompt Payment Discount to save you money. We also encourage people with low incomes to contact Fuel Assistance at (978) 342-4520 to see if you qualify and to find out the proper way to apply for assistance. PMLD can also sometimes help steer customers to local groups that can provide help.

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YES. IT'S THE LAW. Not including weekends or holidays, you must allow a response time of 72 hours for the area where the work is to be properly marked out. CALL 811 or click to contact DigSafe here.

Planning a home improvement job? Planting a tree? Installing a fence or deck? WAIT! Whether you are planning to do it yourself or hiring a professional, smart digging means doing the following. CALL DIG SAFE BEFORE YOU DIG at 811.

Please call, do not send an email. A DIG SAFE Representative will send out someone to mark underground facilities.

Caution: the depth of utility lines varies and there may be multiple utility lines in a common area.

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PMLD may require, in accordance with MGL Ch. 164 Sec 58A, a Cash Deposit equal to an estimated bill for three months service, from customers renting property as security for payment of the customer’s indebtedness.

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Pay before Midnight on the 20th of the month to take advantage of the 5% Early Payment Discount Amount.

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Please call us or stop in Monday-Friday during our regular office hours. We will help you understand the charge and assist you in reviewing and resolving any issue.

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1. SEASON REASONS:

In winter, cold snaps in some months can increase your bill by more than 10% as your heating increases. Because the sun sets earlier, you may use more lighting than you do in other seasons. Also, the type of clothing we wear is usually heavier in winter requiring longer electric dryer time. In cold weather, many people move inside and use more energy for lighting, cooking and entertainment. Even the types of food we cook in winter tend to be different and require longer cooking times.

In summer, the children are home. The hot, humid weather calls for more air conditioning and dehumidifier use. This alone can increase cooling costs by 10% or more. You may also use more energy for cooking outdoors, cleaning, home improvement projects and heating swimming pools.

2. BILLING PERIODS: A typical billing period is between 29 and 31 days, but holidays may make your billing period up to 35 days long. A difference of 5 days on your bill can increase your bill by 17 percent.

3. HOLIDAYS: During holidays, you might use more energy for cooking, cleaning, lighting, heating and company.

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