EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – Officials in Tuckahoe are contemplating the merits of offering residents an alternative way to power their homes and businesses through a Community Choice Aggregation program.
Offered through Sustainable Westchester, if officials join other municipalities in opting into the program, Tuckahoe residents would have the option to get their energy through Con Edison, or through an electricity and natural gas buying pilot program that may offer savings for homeowners.
According to Sustainable Westchester , “Community Choice Aggregation is a municipal or countywide energy procurement model that enables communities to put out for bid the total demand for electricity and natural gas of participating homes and small businesses and purchase energy on their behalf.”
After the Tuckahoe Board of Trustees met regarding the Community Choice Aggregation program, Village Administrator David Burke noted that this is “just step one in a multi-step process.” He added that Westchester is the first county in the state to petition for such a program.
“Most (municipalities) are going to join up, and it allows us to take all the customers for gas and electricity and go out to bid to try to find the lowest price,” he said. “Usually, aggregation programs come back with lower programs than what Con Edison offers.”
Mike Gordon, the co-chair of Sustainable Westchester, said that he expects the bid to go out to energy suppliers late next month for the municipalities that opt in. At their meeting Monday, the Tuckahoe trustees tabled the issue for later discussion. Gordon noted that he expects to see savings as a result of the Community Choice Aggregation program.
“We expect a quick response, and we expect to get either savings on our energy deal or a fixed price, which will be available at any time,” he said. “The expectation is that we’ll get more than a one year deal, and with natural gas prices so low right now, we want to lock in low rates for the next two or three years.”
Gordon said that the program is entirely voluntary for all residents. If the village opts into the program, residents – regardless of whether they already outsource their energy services - will be given notice of the bidding process, allowing them to decide whether or not they want to participate in the aggregation process.
“Residents in municipalities will see the savings, but those who already have opted into alternative (energy) suppliers won’t be affected; nothing is automatic,” he said. “You can either choose not to participate, or say ‘I’m walking away from my current supplier and moving to this better deal.’”
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