Friday, June 24, 2016
New York's Community Choice Aggregation is One Option for Deregulated Energy Markets
One state that does have partially deregulated energy markets, even if many residents are still unaware of it, is New York. In fact, New York recently became the seventh state to implement a community choice aggregation program: Sustainable Westchester Smart Power.
According to Greentechmedia.com, community choice aggregation (CCA) allows municipalities to buy power in bulk on behalf of their citizens. The goal is to procure cleaner and more sustainable power from renewable energy companies.
Currently, only about 25% of Westchester County's residents have elected to seek out new sources in the deregulated energy markets. Under this new CCA, the majority of towns in the greater Westchester area (population 800,000 total) will be included in this agreement. Right now, the largest of such CCA programs is in Ohio.
“As the first community choice aggregation in New York state, Westchester Smart Power holds the potential to transform how consumers purchase, use and choose the energy for their homes and businesses,” Richard Kauffman, chairman of energy and finance for New York state, said in a statement.
One of the interesting facets of the New York deal is the emphasis on new renewable resources, whereas most deregulated energy markets tend to focus on cost-savings. Average electricity use, which was 13 times more in 2013 than in 1950, costs households approximately $107 per month. In the residential sector, air conditioners account for the biggest use of electricity (19%).
“If Sustainable Westchester can get private suppliers to bite at a peak demand reduction contract feature, they have created a private-sector solution to a major challenge,” Karl Rabago, executive director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center, said in a statement. “An efficiency solution would address reliability issues, and add substantial economic value with an environmentally beneficial approach.”