WESLEY HILLS BECOMES THE FIRST MUNICIPALITY IN THE NORTHEAST TO IMPLEMENT A COMMUNITY CHOICE AGGREGATION PROGRAM FOR NATURAL GAS

The Village of Wesley Hills is proud to announce that it is the first municipality in New York State and the entire Northeast to implement a Community Choice Aggregation Program (CCA) for natural gas.  It is anticipated that the Program will begin for residents and small commercial accounts during the billing cycle that begins in November.  This achievement follows on the heels of the Village’s first-in-Rockland implementation of a CCA for electricity in July 2019 and its Community Solar Program introduced last March. According to Mayor Marshall Katz, “These energy programs have and will enable our residents to achieve significant savings in energy costs, something that is especially important giving the current economic situation, but always welcome even in times of prosperity.  The Village Board is always looking for innovative ways to help our residents and these programs are a perfect example of how we can help our residents save money.”

CCA programs empower municipalities to create large buying groups of residential and small commercial electricity accounts in order to seek bids for cheaper supply rates, essentially bulk purchasing. Grouping residential accounts together creates economies of scale, enabling participating governments to achieve greater savings for account holders, in contrast to what would normally have been achieved by the individual customer contracting with an ESCO (Energy Service Company). Under its CCA Program all Village residents who are not purchasing their electricity and/or natural gas from an ESCO are automatically opted-in to the Program. Residents are provided with information on opting-out before the Program is implemented and can opt-out (or in) at any time the program is in operation. More than half of Wesley Hills residents are participating in the electricity CCA and have saved around 17% versus O&R’s historical rates prior to inception of the program.

The Village’s electricity CCA provides electricity at a fixed rate of 6.879 ¢/kWh through January 2021 and offers a 100% Green Energy option at 7.384 ¢/kWh. The Village is currently beginning the process of obtaining bids for a rate for February 2021 and on. The natural gas CCA will provide natural gas at a fixed rate or 36.4 ¢/Therm (a savings of 20% compared to 2019 and 2018 rates for O&R). With natural gas prices at an historical low due to the pandemic and its effect on the economy, the Village felt this was an excellent time to lock in a fixed price. The Village itself collects no fees for implementing the CCA Programs, instead passing along all savings to residents. The Village does receive a $75 donation from Nexamp for every resident who signs up for the Community Solar program. The Village Board has designated these funds to be used for a future environmental or beautification project in the Village.

The Village’s consultant for its energy programs is Good Energy, LP, which has been a vital partner in designing, implementing and maintain these programs.  Its electricity supplier though January 2021 is Constellation NewEnergy, Inc.  Its natural gas supplier through October 2022 is Great American Gas & Electric.  Its partner in Community Solar is Nexamp, Inc.