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Municipal Aggregation Programs in New York

The New York Public Service Commission has approved a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) proposal, pursuant to which five Upstate municipalities may make bulk purchases of electricity and natural gas for their residents and small businesses.

The commission averred that the plan can help consumers lower their energy bills while simultaneously helping to combat climate change. Under the CCA construct, one or more towns or municipalities aggregate the load of their residents and small businesses on an opt-out basis and then procure energy on their behalf, especially distributed energy resource services that might become available. The CCA program that was the subject of the instant docket was organized by Good Energy, L.P., a nationwide energy consultant.

The commission acknowledged that the plans would be the first CCA endeavors administered by Good Energy in New York State. However, given that the company has helped create CCAs for more than 60 communities in other states, serving nearly 400,000 households and providing 3.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, the commission stated that it had no doubts about Good Energy’s ability to manage the CCA plans for the five New York municipalities. It remarked that not only can CCAs yield lower energy prices, but that Good Energy is in a prime position to assist municipalities in ascertaining whether renewable or clean energy products can or should be included as part of the CCA program.

According to the commission, some of the cutting-edge, clean energy options available under the CCA regime extend to the following:

  1. Energy storage;
  2. Distributed generation; and
  3. Green power.

The commission added that in comportment with its recent generic orders governing CCA programs, Good Energy may only serve customers participating in a utility’s low-income assistance programs (APPs) if it offers them a product consistent with commission rules for energy service company service to APP enrollees. The commission stressed that at this time, those rules require that APPs be provided with guaranteed savings. (Case 14- M-0224)