Four New York municipalities recently announced plans to collaborate to explore the joint procurement of energy on behalf of their respective communities. This paves the way for a 100% renewable default energy product for residential and business utility customers in those municipalities.
The Monroe County towns of Brighton, Pittsford and Irondequoit, as well as the Village of Pittsford, have agreed to execute a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to allow for the joint selection of a third-party administrator to secure a 100% renewable clean energy product. Should the towns and village move forward, residents would remain RG&E customers – the major change being the source of energy supply provided by the utility.
The initiative is made possible through the Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Program, authorized by the New York State Public Service Commission. CCA allows participating local governments to procure an energy supply on behalf of its utility customers, often at a lower cost. Under the State program, any resident wishing to opt out of the CCA program may do so at any time and continue to receive the default utility supply.
“Community Choice Aggregation leverages combined buying power,” said Pittsford Town Supervisor Bill Smith. “Joining with other municipalities puts us in a stronger positon to be able to provide residents with energy from 100% renewable sources, at a cost lower than the regular RG&E rate.”
CCA is a relatively new concept in New York, with a successful demonstration program in Westchester County paving the way for a statewide initiative. Since its launch in 2016, Westchester Power, the first CCA program in New York, has saved ratepayers nearly $10 million, with most municipalities choosing a 100% green supply.
“The Towns of Brighton, Irondequoit and Pittsford have been champions for NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Community program, encouraging low-carbon behaviors through their leadership,” said Matt Hallady, Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council. “By forging the path on CCA, these leaders are paving the way for future communities to reduce energy costs, expand choice, and invigorate local climate action”
The four municipalities will next solicit request for proposals to CCA administrators certified by the State, and then make a selection based on a determination of which is best able to meet the goals of the program and work best on behalf of the partnering communities. The MOU allows any of the municipalities to part ways if they determine it is not in their best interest to move forward.