1900 - 1910

On February 2, 1900, the Power House began generating electricity for the people of Concord. As a result, electric rates were "far below average" according to the Light Board. A minimum cost of 75 cents per month for electricity, "carefully used," was estimated to equal the cost of kerosene for lighting. Policy was set to furnish electricity "at cost" to all customers, while the Town would pay all street lighting costs. Electricity for street lighting was billed at 12 cents per kilowatt-hour.


In 1901, Alpert W. Lee became the new utility’s second manager. In that same year, the Town Report noted that on December 8, the Light Plant was "obliged" to shut down their engines for a short time because the boilers were "foaming, caused by the greasy and dirty condition of the waters of the Assabet," which was used as part of the engines’ cooling systems. Electric service was becoming a popular convenience, and the Light Plant issued a series of bonds throughout the decade to finance construction.

Inspector of Wires

Town Meeting voted to create the position of Inspector of Wires on April 2, 1906, and William Lincoln Smith was named the first Inspector. By 1907, there were 38 miles of street lighting throughout Concord, and "breaking street lamps" was the ninth most common crime, based on arrests. While the modern convenience of electricity was sweeping the town, automobiles were still a rarity.

Faulty Wiring Fire

That same year, the Light Plant spent $5.50 at Tuttle’s Stable for "horse hire", and while the Town learned to enjoy the benefits of electricity, its hazards were also experienced in 1907 when there was a "slight fire" at the Middlesex School caused by faulty electrical wiring. The first rate reduction took place in April 1907, from 12 cents to 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, with a 10 percent penalty for those who failed to pay their bills promptly. That same year, the town of Lincoln asked Concord to provide electricity, but it was believed that legislative action was required to comply.

Town Report On Lines

"Our lines are in excellent condition; for this reason winter storms have affected the service but little," reads the 1907 Town Report. The next year, there were 535 meters on the system.