Community Choice Aggregation

UPDATE ON NYACK’S COMMUNITY CHOICE AGGREGATION PROGRAM

July 17, 2020

Nyack is proud to be one of the founding communities of Rockland’s Community Choice renewable energy program, Rockland Community Power.  This innovative program will make 100% renewable energy for electricity available to all Nyack residents and small businesses, at lower cost than we have historically paid for basic O&R supply (mostly gas and nuclear). Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) customers will continue to receive electric delivery, repair, and billing from Orange & Rockland.

In 2019, the Village held a number of public information meetings about this innovative program.  Since then, Nyack joined the program, together with five other Rockland County communities: Clarkstown, Orangetown, and the villages of South Nyack, Upper Nyack, and Haverstraw.  Together we have formed Rockland Community Power.

What is the status of our Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program?

The approval process by state agencies was delayed due to the pandemic but is now back up.  The program is moving ahead, and we expect letters about the program to go out to all households in early September.

Avoiding Confusion with Other Energy Companies (ESCOs)

We’re hearing questions from Nyack residents about mailings from energy companies. 

There are dozens of companies seeking to offer contracts for electric supply to New York residents. These companies send mail, make cold-calls, and knock on doors to obtain customers. Some of these messages look very official.

Please do not confuse these offers with the Rockland Community Power CCA electricity supply program, which was chosen by the participating municipalities.  Your local CCA program does not require any action to participate, or a contract.  Our team does not call you unless you call us, does not knock on doors, and only sends mail in partnership with your municipality.  The bottom line is that if you would like to participate in the municipal program, you should look for the Village seal as a sign that the letter comes from your CCA program.

If you have any questions about something you have received or have been offered, call our Rockland Community Power phone hotline at 845-859-9099 or email the Community Coordinator at peggy@rocklandcommunitypower.com.  You can also always find more information about the program at www.rocklandcommunitypower.com


COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY – CLEAN ENERGY FOR NYACK

What is Community Choice Aggregation?

CCA is a program promoted by a NYS agency, NYSERDA, with oversight by the NYS Public Service Commission.  Through Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) municipalities create a buying group of residents & small businesses to purchase energy.   That group can be used to purchase 100% renewable energy at lower costs than Orange and Rockland’s rates.  This program provides an exciting opportunity for all of us, even as a small community, to make a difference in our carbon footprint by switching to clean energy, while still reducing costs.

What are the benefits of CCA?

  • Lower energy costs. 
  • Provides consumer protection by ensuring price stability.
  • CCA gives the community local choice of its energy source 
  • Provides 100% renewable energy

Who provides the energy?

CCA lets the community choose its energy sources. With CCA, the community can replace  Orange & Rockland as the default supplier of electricity with a provider of renewable energy (wind, hydropower, and solar). By pooling their electricity needs, communities use bulk purchasing power to obtain a fixed and lower rate with other energy suppliers.  

Who can participate?

  • Residents
  • Small businesses
  • Most houses of worship
  • Municipalities

Where has CCA been implemented to date?

More than five million customers in 8 states are served by CCA programs.  54% of Westchester communities are currently cutting costs and purchasing clean energy through this program.  100% of Westchester communities who participated in the first round of CCA have chosen to continue in the program.  Several other Rockland communities are either in the process of implementing CCA or are reviewing the program right now. 

How does Community Choice Aggregation work? 

CCA often starts with community members and elected officials building interest within their community.  The community chooses a program administrator to solicit proposals from qualified energy supply companies for the community.  In NYS three companies are approved by the PSC as CCA program administrators.  The CCA program will launch only if one of the proposals meets the cost-saving and other requirements identified by the community.

How will Community Choice affect me? 

Once a new default electricity supplier is selected, the new supplier of renewable energy will automatically replace O & R as the default supplier of electricity for most residents and small businesses. The only thing that will change on your electricity bill will be the electricity supplier.  O & R will continue to deliver energy to your home, bill you, and repair service interruptions. If you want to opt-out of the program, you can do so at any time without cost or penalty. 

What if I don’t want to participate?  If I Opt-Out, can I opt back in at a later date? 

Participation is up to you. Customers who currently get their energy from O&R will get advanced notice of the program’s initiation and clear instructions on how to opt-out (online, by phone, or mail (pre-paid postcard). After 30 days customers who did not opt-out will transition to the CCA  program, but consumers can always opt out after that with no financial penalty at any time. You can also opt back in with no penalty. One billing cycle, or 30 days, will elapse to allow for processing by the supplier. 

What if I’ve already chosen an alternative provider or ESCO or community solar?

If a customer is already purchasing power from an ESCO, but would prefer to participate in the CCA program, they will need to opt in and to terminate their ESCO contract.  CCA will reduce costs relative to an individual account through an ESCO, but if you prefer to remain with the individual account, you may do so.  Early termination of some contracts may result in early termination fees.  You will need to check the terms and conditions of your existing ESCO contract. There is no conflict with community solar, which supplements the electricity supply.

How is Community Choice different from the ESCOs that keep calling me? 

With CCA, there is a fixed price for the length of Community Choice Program, and a local organizer supporting the Program, and there is no individual contract for the consumer.

ESCO customers must sign a contract and must keep an eye on prices, which can change.

How much will I save?

While there is no guarantee of savings in the most basic form of the program, CCA rates are required to be lower than O&R’s previous 12 month average price. Currently, average CCA residential consumers in Westchester pay about $50 less per year.  Collectively Westchester communities have saved $17 million since 2016.