News : Our Town Energy Alliance Provides Low Prices for Energy Users

May 15, 2014

Published on Seacoast Online 

By Heikki (Herb) Perry

BARNSTEAD — Most people view their home-heating fuel options like they do a nightmare, feeling vulnerable to the vagaries of a volatile energy market, fearing they will be ripped off when they do buy fuel, therefore not knowing what to do. However, by hitching their wagons to Our Town Energy Alliance — or “OTEA” for short — consumers no longer face this challenge alone. Guided by a commitment to help New Englanders save money while reducing their environmental footprint, OTEA has grown from a small contingent of 75 members to a vibrant organization of roughly 10,000.

From researching pricing plans to find optimal savings to offering a range of products designed to maximize energy efficiency, to using only trusted fuel-oil vendors, OTEA is a trusted third-party voice doing the homework for the consumer. Launched in 1999 by Dan and Cate Barraford, OTEA started as a cooperative for seniors looking to save money on home heating oil, propane and kerosene. In 2014, seniors still comprise 25 percent of OTEA’s customer base, benefitting from a special program that caters to their unique needs.

“One of the reasons we started the business was to help with escalating heating bills for seniors, and we also wanted to help young families. We have since expanded our services to small businesses and municipalities,” said Cate.

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