What is Westchester Power?
Westchester Power (Community Choice Aggregation, a/k/a CCA) is a community-based bulk energy purchasing program intended to lower costs and increase the use of renewable energy in Westchester County. Westchester Power is a program initiated and implemented by Sustainable Westchester Inc, on behalf of member municipalities that have chosen to participate in the program.
Sustainable Westchester is a non-profit organization that serves the interests of its member cities, towns and villages. Westchester Power provides residents and small business electric customers a locally chosen alternative to the state-mandated utility—Con Edison or NYSEG—for energy supply. Westchester Power represents the best interests of consumers by providing choices for lower, fixed prices and cleaner energy.
To give Westchester County consumers better energy choices through collective action that create stable future prices, access clean power at more competitive rates, and opportunities for developing local, sustainable energy systems and programs.
How Does Westchester Power Work?
On behalf of the participating municipalities, Westchester Power has negotiated to buy electricity at a bulk, fixed price from a single supplier for each jurisdiction in the program. For residents and small businesses in participating municipalities, Westchester Power will automatically become the default electricity provider, allowing the purchase of electric supply at the contracted fixed rate. Con Edison or NYSEG will continue to handle the consumer’s billing, deliver electricity, maintain power lines, and respond to service outages.
What Does This Mean for Me?
This means that Westchester Power will negotiate the best possible rate on behalf of all participating consumers. And your state-designated utility, either Con Ed or NYSEG, will still deliver the energy supplied through Westchester Power.
It also means that you have a choice to help eliminate carbon pollution by opting up to 100% renewable energy sources for all of your energy needs.
Who is participating in Westchester Power?
Approximately 110,000 county residents and small businesses in Westchester municipalities are in the program for it’s initial launch.
When did the program begin?
Westchester Power launched in May 2016. The change to the new supply rate was reflected in either the first or second bill after May 1, depending on each customer’s billing cycle dates.
Who is running Westchester Power?
Sustainable Westchester, a non-profit 501(c)(3) consortium of Westchester County local governments, has been authorized by the New York State Public Service Commission to act as the manager and administrator of Westchester Power on behalf of its member municipalities. Westchester Power is a partnership program of Sustainable Westchester and the participating Westchester County municipalities that have passed the required local legislation and then chose to participate in the program.
What is Sustainable Westchester?
Sustainable Westchester is a membership organization comprised of Westchester County’s municipalities. Our cities, towns and villages represent over 800,000 county residents—over 90% of the County’s population. Sustainable Westchester seeks to turn environmental challenges into opportunities through collective action in order to improve the quality of life, strengthen the economy and secure the future prospects of County residents.
Sustainable Westchester Board of Directors
Noam Bramson, Mayor, City of New Rochelle
Chris Burdick, Supervisor, Town of Bedford
Joe Carvin, President, One World United & Virtuous
Dan Chorost, Environmental Attorney, Sive, Paget & Riesel
Sara Goddard, Founder, Rye Sustainability Committee
Mike Gordon, CEO, Joule Assets
Peter McCartt, Media and Marketing, Business Development
Herb Oringel, Founder NWEAC
Tom Roach, Mayor, City of White Plains
Laura Rossi, Executive Director, Westchester Community Foundation
Nancy Seligson, Supervisor, Town of Mamaroneck
Mike Spano, Mayor, City of Yonkers
Bedford 2020: Outreach and Communications
Bedford 2020 is partnering with Sustainable Westchester to assist with education, outreach and implementation of the Westchester Power Program, with a focus on the “100% opt up to renewable energy” feature of Westchester Power. Bedford 2020 is a non-profit organization formed to lead, organize and promote grass roots efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20% by the year 2020 and to preserve natural resources in the town of Bedford, NY and beyond. Since their formation in 2010, they have piloted projects that have subsequently been replicated throughout the region. Their focus is on energy efficiency, solar energy and renewable energy. In addition, they have community programs in four other areas, including: Food & Agriculture, Transportation, Waste & Recycling, and Water & Land Use. Bedford 2020 programs are led by the work of nine Task Forces staffed with over 90 community volunteers.
Con Edison and NYSEG
The distribution utilities have been instrumental in launching Westchester Power. They have provided the necessary data and have collaborated with Sustainable Westchester to make this a successful program. Utilities do not profit from the sale of energy supply, and are not losing profit as a result of Westchester Power.
In February 2015, Sustainable Westchester, a non-profit 501(c)(3) consortium of Westchester County local governments was selected by the New York State Public Service Commission to launch New York State’s first Community Choice Aggregation program (“Order Granting Petition in Part” in Case 14-M-0564, issued February 26, 2015). Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is an energy procurement program that enables participating communities to join together and purchase electricity in bulk. Purchasing electricity in bulk provides the market clout to negotiate lower rates and to offer credible, clean energy choices for customers. All the background documents (template local laws, resolutions, webinar presentations, etc) are available here, at Sustainable Westchester’s Community Toolkits pages.
Community Choice Aggregation is currently available in six US states: California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, New Jersey and Rhode Island. New York will be the seventh. Over five million customers nationwide are served by a CCA program.