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The Greenburgh Town Board voted to participate in Sustainable Westchseter's 100% renewable energy option with conditions--will publicize opt out options for residentes. Rates can't go up or down for 18 months. NY Power Authority increasing rates by 7.49%
GREENBURGH TOWN BOARD VOTES TO PARTICIPATE IN SUSTAINABLE WESTCHESTER 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY OPTION
RESIDENTS WHO DON'T WANT TO PARTICIPATE CAN OPT OUT ----18 MONTH RATES CAN'T GO UP OR DOWN
NY POWER AUTHORITY ADVISED TOWN THAT THEY ARE INCREASING THEIR RATES BY 7.49% DUE TO INDIAN POINT SHUTDOWN
The Greenburgh Town Board unanimously approved an agreement with Sustainable Westchester to participate in the Westchester Power community energy program -selecting the 100% renewable energy option for residents. The contract is for 18 months and rate will be 7.405 after a competitive bidding process. The rate for renewable energy is LESS than what Greenburgh residents have been paying during the past 18 months. This is the first time the town will be participating in an all green renewable energy initiative. The Town Board members believe that it's important for all of us to take charge of our energy procurement to achieve clean energy.
One of the values of the ESCO is that the rates are fixed - can't go up or down during the life of the contract. The town was notified earlier this week that the New York State Power Authority will increase our rates (in municipal buildings) by 7.49% as compared to 2020 rates. "The variable cost increase is primarily due to the retirement of Indian Point 3, which is the nuclear plant's last operating unit, which will be retired in April 2021" I asked the Power Authority if they believe that Con Ed rates will also increase for the same reason. Stepehn Campbell of the Power Authority e mailed me today saying "our belief is that they will."
The Board approved the agreement with the following conditions:
1. A notification letter Sustainable Westchester is required to send to customers at least 30 days in advance of the implementation of the new contract shall be designed by the Town Board to prominently and repeatedly state there is a right to opt out at no cost and display the rates for 100% renewable energy, their current rate, and Con Edison’s rate for comparison.
2. If the customer opts out within the first 30 days, the customer will be switched to Con Edison supply before being switched to the 100% renewable energy option.
3. Customers can opt out at any time at no cost, even after the first 30 days.
4. In addition to the program notification letter mailed by Sustainable Westchester prior to the start of the 30-day opt out period as required by the 2021 Con Ed ESA, Sustainable Westchester shall bear the cost of printing and mailing a postage paid postcard, which shall be mailed annually to all Greenburgh customers and small businesses enrolled in the program;
5. The wording of the post-paid postcards in condition shall be provided and approved by the Greenburgh Town Board or its delegate, and shall at minimum alert enrollees to their enrollment in the Westchester Power program, that their electric rates can be higher than Con Edison supply rates depending on market conditions, and how they may exercise their option to opt out if they so choose; and
6. Sustainable Westchester will inform the Town in advance of mailing the required notification letter with the opt-out postcard so the Town may conduct a robocall alerting residents to look for the notification letter in their mailboxes in the coming days; and
7. Sustainable Westchester shall, within five (5) days from the end of each month, provide the Town of Greenburgh with the average Con Edison utility supply price for that month so that the Municipality can post that information on the Town of Greenburgh Web site; and
8. The Town shall post the monthly rate data on the Town of Greenburgh Web site in a prominent manner, along with information about how to opt out of the Westchester Power program by phone or online, with links to additional information about the program on the Sustainable Westchester website; and
9. The Town of Greenburgh shall supplement the above additional communication by making one or two robocalls per year to residents and small businesses enrolled in the program in the Town of Greenburgh providing similar information that will be provided in the postagepaid postcard mailing; and
10. Sustainable Westchester shall allocate a minimum of seven and one tenth of a percent (7.1%) of Community Solar project capacity in Con Edison service territory that it secures and prioritizes for enrollment by low income residents to low income electric account holders in the Town of Greenburgh, or entities that serve them, such as the Greenburgh Housing Authority; and
11. After the low-income accounts in Con Edison territory have been substantially all provided with solar credit benefits, additional project credits for the Con Edison territory shall be made available to other Greenburgh/Westchester Power participants; and 12. Sustainable Westchester shall introduce the NYSERDA Clean Energy Community Coordinator to the Town’s Grant Coordinator and help the municipality and its grant coordinator by sharing its understanding and experience with the Clean Energy Community grant process.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor
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The auction for the Con Ed contract #3 to start January 1, 2021 was held and successfully concluded today with the result that Constellation will remain the supplier for all participating Con Ed municipalities, with a contract term of 18 months. The rates are as follows:
For reference, current rates are 7.96 cents for renewable and 7.71 for standard supply, for both residential and commercial.
In sum, we
On the process side we
We ran a total of 14 auctions for scenarios which included the whole load, the whole load split residential/commercial, and accounts split up into 4 regions, each with about a quarter of the accounts. Our "price not to exceed" was 7.65 cents, and unlike the NYSEG bid where we ended up with only one bid under the cap at the very end, we had several bidders playing aggressively under 7.65 in every auction.
How we homed in on the 18 month, whole load split residential and commercial numbers scenario
So we deemed this fractional difference vs 12 months to be well worth it as it got us an additional half year. A new participant in our RFPs, Indra Energy, provided those somewhat lower 12 month numbers. While we'd be very happy to "train" a new supplier if we were seeing significant price improvement, the gap was minimal and there is some non-trivial value in going with Constellation in the reduction of the confusion that comes with changing the ESCO on the bill and the assurance of a smooth transition to the new contract.
We had only one municipal official take us up on the offer to join us on Zoom to watch the auctions, but that Council Member noted that they found it quite exciting.
Now comes the scramble of the post-award tasks - assembling the contracts and getting them to your municipalities for signature, getting on agendas for the mandatory post-award information session, updating the notification letters and getting them through DPS, working with our Communications Director Maria Genovesi to prepare supplementary communications to support the outreach during that period etc. You'll hear from one of the team (Jasmine, Carmen, Cathy and/or Lauren) over the next few days about arranging for these next steps.
Many thanks to all of your support through this process. Our Westchester Power communities continue to lead the way to a clean energy future, opening a dialogue for the many other exciting and important initiatives we're building, and setting out important guideposts for the many communities that are following our model.
Dan Welsh Sustainable Westchester
40 Green StreetMt. Kisco, NY 10549United States