For more than 110 years Braintree Electric Light Department has consistently provided low-cost, reliable, and safe electric service to the citizens of Braintree. But we do more than keep your lights on—we're proud to be part of a tradition of giving back to the community by supporting local groups and projects.
BELD is one of 2,200+ utilities that collectively provide electricity on a not-for-profit basis to 43 million Americans. This makes us a "public power" system controlled by the community we serve, providing BELD customers with important benefits not enjoyed by customers of private, investor-owned utilities. As a member of Northeast Public Power Association (NEPPA) and American Public Power Association (APPA), we honor the democratic tradition of community decision-making and participation that led to our founding in 1892. Because public power utilities are operated by local governments as a public service—and our customers are an important part of that process—we take part in a national Public Power Week celebration each year during the first full week of October to show our appreciation to the residents of Braintree.
As a Braintree municipal utility, BELD is exempt from paying taxes to the town. But BELD does give money to the town on an annual basis, in the amount it would pay if it were subject to paying property tax ($1 million in 2010).
Braintree July 4th Celebration
BELD donates to this annual celebration every year. In 2001 the utility contributed $10,000, making good on a launch pledge to make a donation for each new BELD Broadband cable installation.
In addition to providing a fiber-optic network, BELD supplies Braintree's municipal buildings and school buildings with four-digit telephone support and a high-speed data network. We provide voice mail services for the town's fire department, parks and recreation department, high school, and Thayer Library. BELD also provides technical assistance and computer maintenance to the police department at a contracted rate.
Assist other departments
BELD employees work very closely with staff from other departments in the town and county. In addition to setting poles at the Norfolk County Jail, linemen regularly hang banners in South Braintree Square and assist the Tree Warden with maintenance work.
Lights around town
BELD performs traffic signal maintenance for the town of Braintree. In addition to installing decorative streetlamps in Braintree Square and in South Braintree Square, BELD crews have installed lights at the BHS athletic field and at the Hollingsworth Little League field. And BELD provides electric service and lights to the Town Hall, as well as installing holiday lighting at the building each year.
BELD's Bright Ideas online newsletter offers another opportunity for free posting of local activities.
BELD's Energy Services programs—including energy audits, tree plantings, and other conservation projects—are available to customers at no charge. BELD also conducts energy safety programs in the Braintree schools.
Good Neighbor Energy Fund
The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund (GNEF) helped more than 1,600 families pay an electric, gas or oil bill in 2011. BELD partners with the Salvation Army and other state energy companies to bring assistance to any Massachusetts resident who, because of temporary financial difficulty, cannot meet a month's energy expense and is not eligible for state or federal energy assistance. Click here for information on donating, or call 800.334.3047 to request assistance from the GNEF.