CCA Will Purchase Electricity on Behalf of 90,000 Homes and Small Businesses in Westchester County
Mar 09, 2016, 10:40 ET from Sustainable Westchester
Today, Sustainable Westchester and 17 of the 20 Westchester County municipalities that comprise Westchester Smart Power announced that they have selected the winner of a$150M contract bid that aims to transform the way we buy and use energy. ConEdison Solutions, the deregulated subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., has been selected to provide electricity on behalf of 90,000 residential and small business customers throughout Westchester County. Under the CCA, each of the 17 municipalities now has a choice in whether to opt for a 100% renewable energy supply, greened through Green-e certificates, or a slightly lower priced energy supply that includes a standard mix of traditional and renewable energy sources. The contract is a milestone in what Westchester Smart Power intends to be a deep contribution of distributed energy resources (DER) in the state.
A Program That Redefines How We Purchase, Consume and Generate Energy
In 2015, Sustainable Westchester Inc., a local non-profit representing 40 communities in Westchester, was selected by New York State to manage the first Community Choice Aggregation pilot program under Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy. Together, the state’s first consortium of local governments joined to create Westchester Smart Power, giving municipalities the ability to contract directly with energy suppliers, acting as a single buyer, in order to realize bulk discounts on retail rates and to choose power from clean, renewable sources.
The Westchester Smart Power program unifies environmental and consumer interests as, for example, it achieves peak load reductions that may save as much as 100 Megawatts at peak hours, holding the potential to save residents and businesses an additional $10 million per year.
Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York State, said, “As the first Community Choice Aggregation in New York State, Westchester Smart Power holds the potential to transform how consumers purchase, use and choose the energy for their homes and businesses. We congratulate the communities inWestchester County who have embraced Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy for a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system ensuring 50% of electricity consumed in New York comes from renewable power by 2030.”
20 of Sustainable Westchester’s 40 members have joined the Westchester Smart Power program. Municipalities that have joined the program include Bedford, Greenburgh, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington, Larchmont, Lewisboro,Town of Mamaroneck, Village of Mamaroneck, Mt. Kisco, New Castle, New Rochelle, North Salem, Town of Ossining,Village of Ossining, Pelham, Pleasantville, Rye Brook, Somers, Tarrytown and White Plains. Communities interested in participating should reach out to Sustainable Westchester for details about timing and participation in phase two of the program.
The Electric Service Agreement, drafted by Sustainable Westchester and attorneys and other representatives of the 20 participating municipalities, is a powerful document in its own right, emerging with 42 pages of protections for residential consumers and participating municipalities.
All residents and small businesses will be receiving letters from the municipalities outlining the details about Westchester Smart Power. Service for Westchester Smart Power customers will begin on May 1st. For more information about Westchester Smart Power, go to www.westchestersmartpower.org.
“Westchester Smart Power will give consumers the opportunity to source clean power at more competitive rates. Unprecedented access to our consumption information and a commitment to buy together have been critical in enabling smarter, more informed and more powerful choices,” said Mike Gordon, Co-Chair of Sustainable Westchester. “The success of Community Choice enables a transformative shift in the way we buy and use electricity, and soon energy, in New York. As the program goes forward, consumers will also benefit from savings attributed to peak demand reductions, local renewable energy generation and energy efficiencies.”
Bedford 2020, a Westchester-based environmental non-profit, is partnering with Sustainable Westchester to spread the word about the opportunity Westchester Smart Power represents to convert the county to renewable energy sources. According to Ellen Rouse Conrad, Co-President of Bedford 2020, “The choice to ‘opt up’ to 100% renewable energy is a game-changing opportunity for residents and small businesses in Westchester County. At long last, government has presented a viable solution for all consumers who care about clean energy, clean water and clean air.”
About Sustainable Westchester:
Sustainable Westchester is a membership organization with more than 85% of all Westchester municipalities participating, representing 800,000 county residents. The action group is designed to turn environmental challenges into opportunities to improve the quality of life, economy and future prospects of county citizens. For more information visit: www.sustainablewestchester.org.
About Bedford 2020:
Bedford 2020 is partnering with Sustainable Westchester to assist with education, outreach and implementation of the 100% “opt up” to renewable energy feature of Westchester Smart Power. Bedford 2020 is a non-profit organization leading a grass roots effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20% by the year 2020 in the town ofBedford, NY and beyond. Since their formation in 2010, they have piloted projects that have subsequently been replicated throughout the region. Their focus is on energy efficiency, solar energy and renewable energy. In addition, they have community programs in four other areas: Food & Agriculture, Transportation, Waste & Recycling, and Water & Land Use. For more information visit: http://bedford2020.org/.