Our Town Energy Alliance founder, the late Daniel M. Barraford, III believed in “working with people, for people”, in this case, the members. Eighteen years later our continued goal is to deliver to homeowners and small businesses the opportunity to lower their energy costs. We do this by joining together as a group and working for the benefit of the group by negotiating lower fuel costs with the fuel vendors.
Our Town Energy Choice, "OTEC", was founded in 1999 by the Barrafords as a community service. The original 74 members told their friends and neighbors and by the end of 1999 there were 300 members and 1000 members by the year 2000. Our Town Publishing Company, the Barraford’s telephone directory business, paid all the staff, mailing and telephone costs in 1999 and 2000. It was wholly supported and managed by the Barrafords and Our Town Publishing Co. for the first two years.
In 2000 Our Town Energy Choice became independent of the publishing company. In 2005 we purchased The Energy Alliance of Tamworth, NH, another family-owned discount fuel group, when it's founder retired. Both groups ran independently until we saw that merging the groups would enable more buying power for the members. We chose the name Our Town Energy Alliance. From the 74 original members in 1999 to today, Our Town Energy Alliance or “OTEA” has grown to its present membership of approximately 8000 households, schools, towns and businesses mostly through word of mouth and a money-back referral program. OTEA works with five fuel vendors and covers most of NH and areas in ME, MA and VT. Membership is open to all.
Our Town Energy Alliance started as a NH bootstrap company with two employees and several volunteers. Now we are a second generation NH family company with a few more employees and an occasional consultant.