Aggregation, for the purposes of energy commodity procurement or services, is a process whereby numerous energy utility accounts are pooled into a single, or series of, energy purchasing groups. The primary goal is to leverage the ensuing bulk-buying power of these pools in order to generate savings for end-users, much like the savings that are passed onto consumers when shopping at big-box retail stores. The concept is simple – the more you buy, the less expensive the cost. For our purposes, there are two distinct types of accounts to be considered. These include Commercial & Industrial (C & I) accounts for municipal facilities, and residential accounts. The latter type of aggregation utilizes a process called Community Choice Aggregation (CCA).
Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is a program approved by statewide Order of the Public Service Commission and part of NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Communities program. Aggregation of electrical and natural gas load by a municipality or group of municipalities. The statewide Order empowers villages, cities and towns to create large buying groups of residential and small commercial electricity accounts in order to seek bids for cheaper supply rates, essentially bulk-purchasing. The purpose of the Order was to ensure that the benefits of energy deregulation were passed on to residential customers and businesses by providing the ability to “aggregate” their accounts within their municipal boundaries in order to obtain competitive bids from an Energy Services Company (ESCO). Grouping residential accounts together creates economies of scale, enabling participating municipalities to achieve greater savings for account holders as a whole. You may find more information about the energy industry in the state by visiting the Public Services Commission website.
The objective of CCA is simply to lower the cost of energy bills through the formation of a buying group composed of residents and businesses of one or more municipalities without interfering with the level of service provided by the utility delivering the energy supply.
The municipality must first adopt a local law through a public hearing at a board or council meeting. The municipality then selects Good Energy, L.P. to seek bids from ESCOs to obtain competitive energy rates for participants. An account holder will be able to opt out of the program during a 30-day period at the onset of the program. They may also leave the program at any point with no associated termination penalties or fees.
The goal of CCA is primarily savings and long-term price stability, though savings cannot be guaranteed, due to the fact that there is no visibility into future rates. Participants will see no change in their utility bill other than a change in price on energy supply. They will continue to receive a single bill, make one payment, and continue to receive the same level of service from their utility.
The program is still new in the state; only towns in Westchester participate in a CCA pilot program which Good Energy helped to develop.
Yes, a single bill will continue to come from your utility.
If you are currently receiving your energy supply from your utility, you do not need to do anything. You will automatically be enrolled in the program if your municipality plans and initiates a CCA program.
No, account holders can opt out without penalty during a 30-day opt-out period. Opt-out notices are provided via USPS mail prior to the program commencing for eligible account holders. Simply return the opt-out notice within 30 days and your account(s) will not be included. Participating account holders may leave the program at any time without penalty.
Your energy bill has two cost components – delivery and supply. The aggregation program only changes the supply component of your bill. The delivery portion of your bill is regulated and will not be affected.
Initial enrollment usually takes place 60 days after a municipality selects an ESCO and signs an energy agreement. Remember, once service actually begins under the program, you won’t see any changes on your utility bill until the following month for the previous month’s service.
Yes, you can continue to participate in your utility’s budget billing/equal payment plan. No action is required to remain in the budget billing/equal payment plan.
Yes, the program will apply to both commodities.
Account holders enrolled in the program may terminate their participation at any time without any early termination or exit fees. In so doing, accounts will be returned to utility default service or to an ESCO of the account holder’s choosing. The switch will be processed on your next available meter read date. Please be advised that NY utilities require at least 15 calendar days to process a supplier switch. Months do not prorate.
All eligible account holders will receive written notification after a succesful bid informing them of the winning supplier price compared to the utlity’s rates, in addition to the account holder’s right to opt out and other important program details.
Yes, certain commercial rate classes that are not enrolled with an ESCO are eligible and will be automatically enrolled unless they choose to opt out.
The final contract requires the winning supplier to maintain the new rate for the entire term. This is called a fixed rate.
The consultant has extensive knowledge of how utility tariff rates are determined, and as such, will structure a term with the goal of providing annual savings throughout the life of the contract.
Only ESCOs licensed by the state are eligible to bid. In addition, an in-depth request for proposal will be disseminated by the energy consultant (Good Energy) to interested ESCOs requiring them to provide their qualifications. Among other things, the request required suppliers to demonstrate financial strength, experience, and customer service capabilities.
No, by law, utilities are not permitted to bid. With regard to supply, the utility only provides default service, however, the utility will always be responsible for delivering your electricity, repair work, and billing.
Contract terms will vary, but a final decision on the term length will be clearly communicated via the opt-out letter describing the program. Supply contract term lengths commonly last for up to 36 months.
No, there is no contract to sign. The program is designed to be as easy as possible for participants. Accounts are automatically enrolled as long as they are currently receiving supply from the utility.
Account holders enrolled in the program may terminate their participation in the program at any time without any early termination or exit fees. They may also re-enroll in the program at a later date with no associated re-enrollment fees at the rates scheduled under the original program terms. The aggregation program rate will be reflected on the account holder’s utility bill for the following next available billing cycle (remember, account holders always pay for the service they received following the month for which they actually received the service, e.g., pay for June service on your July bill). Because switching suppliers requires at least 15 calendar days to process by your utility, you are encouraged to re-enroll in the program at least three weeks prior to the meter read date indicated on your utility bill in order to ensure re-enrollment occurs on a timely basis.
Having a solar system which allows you to earn net metering credits, e.g., Solarize (New York), does not preclude you from participating in the aggregation program. As long as the account holder is receiving supply from the utility, they are able to participate in the aggregation program and will continue to receive net metering credits from the utility. Net metering will function in the same way as before you joined the CCA program. Your net metering credits will continue to appear on your utility bill and will continue to be calculated based on utility’s Basic Service price.
All service and billing questions will continue to be directed to your local utility. Utility contact information may be found on your bill.
Delivery rates do not change based on participation in a CCA program. Utility delivery rates are regulated by the state and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
ESCOs are very active within New York. This is due to the recent significant increases in energy rates for all utilities within New York. We strongly advise any account holder read the complete contract fine print and have a clear understanding of any termination penalties, along with rate details, before agreeing to purchase electricity from an ESCO.
No, unfortunately, you may continue to receive other ESCO offers. It is important, therefore, to remember the details of the aggregation program, i.e., the duration of the program, rate, etc. Very often, due to the length of time commonly associated with these types of programs, participants forget the program is still in effect, when in fact there may be months or even years remaining. Sometimes this results in a participant inadvertently leaving the program for what they may believe to be a better offer. You are encouraged to remember that the CCA program is operated under the due diligence of your municipality and though not impossible, it is unlikely that other offers will be more competitive. Please regularly visit this site and your municipality’s site(s) for updates.
No, your municipality does not profit from a CCA program.
The energy consultant will be responsible for managing all aspects of the program and keeping the municipality appropriately informed.
Please check this site for updates and look for announcements from your municipality and local news outlets.
Good Energy’s due diligence process required bidding suppliers to meet strict qualification requirements. Among other things, the request required suppliers to demonstrate financial strength and experience, as well as customer service capabilities. This process minimized any chance of a supplier going out of business. If the supplier is bought, the purchasing entity will continue to provide supply service under the existing contract terms.
No, there are no changes to your current meter. The utility continues to read your meter.
No, no deposit is required.
Good Energy will work with your community to obtain renewal pricing. Similar to the original term, eligible customers will be given the opportunity to opt out.
No, the municipality does not pay any administrative fees.
Good Energy, L.P. is a leading national energy management and consulting firm that has been implementing large and small community choice aggregation programs in various states across the country since 2008. They have partnered with your municipality to design and operate this CCA program. Good Energy is headquartered in New York City and is currently the retained community electricity aggregation consultant for over 200 communities across the country. Your municipality selected Good Energy to serve as its energy consultant through a competitive process, in partnership with neighboring cities and towns.