For Immediate Release:
DATE: May 20, 2020
CONTACT: John Bouvier
PHONE: (631) 287-5745
For the past two years, the Town of Southampton has led the effort to bring Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs to Long Islanders, a program that will allow for greater access to renewable energy and potentially lower electricity rates. The Town was the first on Long Island to pass the enabling legislation to support the creation of a CCA program; and the first to contract with a CCA administrator to coordinate the effort to create and implements CCA program - two critical steps in the creation of a CCA Program.
On Wednesday May 20th, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) Board of Trustees took another critical step and approved a rule change empowering Long Island communities to participate in Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs and pursue local energy goals. CCA programs give Long Island communities the choice to buy electricity for their residents and small businesses at sufficient scale to negotiate favorable terms and choose renewable energy with savings.
In 2016, CCA authority was enabled for the rest of the state and each of the New York State investor-owned utilities implemented associated required CCA Tariff. Over 100 municipalities have adopted CCA enabling legislation in New York State, and there are currently 5 operational CCA programs. With the CCA rule change approved, Long Island municipalities are now afforded the same opportunities as elsewhere in New York State.
The CCA Tariff describes the terms and conditions regarding fees and data protection to be exchanged between the Utility and the CCA Administrator, if and when a CCA Program is launched. Over 1000 names were voluntarily added between the dates of April 6, 2020 and May 11, 2020 to a Town of Southampton petition for the approval of the CCA rule change.
In its 2016 order, the Department of Public Service stated that a well-designed CCA program will increase the ability of individuals and communities to manage their energy usage and facilitate the deployment of clean energy.
Southampton Town Councilman John Bouvier said, “While all of Long Island benefits from the LIPA Board of Trustee’s vote, CCA is a tool essential to Southampton in order to meet its stated goal of 100% renewable electric energy by 2025. In addition, when Choice Community Power is launched, it is estimated to eliminate between 175 - 350,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases and fast track the Town’s alignment with clean energy mandates established by Governor Cuomo.”
“The Town’s efforts,” Mr. Bouvier added, “have had broad support from the community as well as from our NY State Assemblyman Fred Thiele.” Mr. Thiele submitted an unambiguous letter of support for CCA both to the Chairman of the LIPA Board of Trustees and to the Commissioner of the Public Service Commission, as did all of the Southampton Town Board members. In addition, a letter of support for CCA from the Town signed by over 1000 community members was submitted to the Board and the Commissioner.
Although this rule change is a significant hurdle now cleared, the next steps, under the direction of the Town’s CCA administer, Joule Assets, will be to develop an implementation plan to be approved by the Department of Public Service; and, then, to reach out into the energy market place to identify sources of renewable energy and the range of competitive pricing.
It is important to note, the Town of Southampton is committed to 100% renewable energy and pricing at or below the current energy rates.