Saving Green by Going Green: Clarkstown’s Successful Electricity Supply Program Saves Residents over $1 million

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We are all feeling the effects of inflation, which recently reached its highest point in 40 years.  From the gas you pump to fuel your car, to the food you purchase to fuel you and your family, the observation that Yogi Berra (legendary New York Yankee and armchair economist) once made that a “nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore” rings truer than ever.

But in one area—electricity supply—many Clarkstown residents and others in Rockland County have been protected against the recent volatility in energy markets that have been driven by geopolitical realities and other factors beyond our control.

Clarkstown’s participation in Community Choice Aggregation (“CCA”) has saved residents and businesses over $1 million dollars in savings since the launch of the program in November of 2019.  The CCA program has provided residents of Clarkstown and neighboring communities (the Town of Orangetown and the Villages of Haverstraw, Nyack, South Nyack, and Upper Nyack) the ability to choose between getting their electrical supply from 100% renewable energy or a more traditional, standard blend of energy that they used to get from Orange & Rockland.

Though Orange & Rockland is the only entity that can deliver power to your home, every consumer has the ability to choose who supplies their electricity.  Before CCA, if you didn’t have a contract with an energy supply company (“ESCO”), the New York State Public Service Commission chose your electrical supply by default.  Their default provider also happened to be Orange & Rockland.

 

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Fixed rates have benefitted members of Clarkstown’s CCA program, especially in light of recent market volatility in energy prices.

Under state law, the Town of Clarkstown and other municipalities have the ability to roll these O&R default customers into a new default program only if, after a bidding process, an entity were able to offer lower, fixed rates that beat the default utility’s rate for the past 24 months.  Fortunately, the bid met that standard and residents were rolled into the program automatically unless they opted out of the program and chose to stay with O&R for electrical supply.

CCA delivers three main benefits to consumers:  1) low, fixed rates; 2) the ability to support clean, 100% renewable energy; and 3) stronger consumer protection.  One of the main problems with some of the mailings you probably have received from ESCOS in the past is that they reel you in with a low introductory rate, but then raise your rates over time.  By contrast, participants in the CCA program never needed to sign a contract to receive guaranteed, fixed rates.  In fact, all members can opt-out (or opt back in) at any time, without penalty.

In so many ways, the program has lived up to its promise.  Here’s a few stats that prove it:

  • Total Clarkstown customers served:  15,503—99% of which are enrolled in the 100% renewable energy program
  • Total cumulative savings through the end of February for Clarkstown: $1,358,401
  • Avoided greenhouse gases: 35,054 metric tons of CO2 over two years (Equivalent to taking 7,769 passenger cars off the road for one year!)
  • Strong consumer protection: Protection from volatile energy rates, Guaranteed rates with no bait and switch. No contract for consumers and no exit fee

Though the current program will be ending in November, there is still time to see if you are eligible to join the CCA program by checking out rocklandcommunitypower.com or calling (845) 859-9099.

Due to the success of the program, Clarkstown will be looking to partner again with neighboring municipalities to see if we can once again leverage our combined purchasing power to procure energy that is not only green for the environment, but saves you some green in your wallet as well!