New York is not the first state to allow for community choice aggregation — it’s not even the second or third.
But the design of Sustainable Westchester’s community choice aggregation program, Westchester Smart Power, has some features that could push the envelope nationwide as municipalities find ways to more nimbly invest in local, clean energy.
Community choice aggregation (CCA) allows municipalities to buy power in bulk on behalf of their citizens, often with the intent to procure cleaner forms of energy. New York’s flavor of CCA includes particular provisions for demand response and renewable power that give additional flexibility to the organization.
New York, the seventh state to launch CCA, has a deregulated electricity market in which consumers and businesses can choose their electricity supplier — even though most people don’t. Instead, they stick with their distribution utility as electricity supplier. Many are unaware that options even exist.
In Westchester County, just north of New York City, about one-quarter of customers in Consolidated Edison’s distribution territory have shopped around. The figure is paltrier in northern Westchester, served by the New York State and Electric Gas Corporation (NYSEG), where only about 14 percent of customers have chosen a supplier besides the distribution utility.
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