Community Choice Aggregation

On Tuesday March 19, Mamakating became the first town in Sullivan County to enact a local law permitting Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), a program that has the potential to supply consumers with both lower electric rates and greener energy supplies. At the public hearing prior to the vote, Mike Gordon, principal architect of New York State’s first CCA in Westchester County, told the board that the 110,000 customers participating in the Westchester program have saved $17 million dollars over the past three years—or about 10% on the electric usage portion of their utility bills.

The bargaining power derived from a large customer base can enable CCAs to provide 100% renewable energy below the benchmark rate for so-called “brown” energy. This is what happened in Westchester. Twenty-five of the twenty-six participating municipalities now offer customers 100% green energy produced in New York State.

Mamakating Board Member Christine Saward, who is leading the effort to bring CCA to Mamakating, read a statement from state Senator Jen Metzger noting that legislation does not commit a town to set up a CCA, but “positions you to participate in a program if you so choose.” Metzger, a longtime proponent of CCA, went on to say, “our communities can benefit most from CCA if it supports local clean energy development, such as community renewable projects, which create local jobs and provide stable lower-cost energy, while helping mitigate climate change.” CCA she asserted, can be “a win-win-win for our communities and for New York.” 

As Mamakating moves forward it will need to decide whether it wishes to file its own plan with the Public Service Commission or to work with a professional administrator. Administrators are paid by the electric supply company that wins the municipal contract so no taxpayer money required to run a CCA program. 

For further information: Christine Saward at (845) 313-1772 or chrisnapdragon@frontiernet.net