6 Rockland County Communities Launch Cost-Cutting Renewable Energy Initiatives

Clean Power

Published on October 6th, 2020 |
by Zachary Shahan

October 6th, 2020 by  


Community solar power and community choice aggregation are two of the hot trends in the US solar energy industry. Now, more residents of New York are getting access to the community solar power and community choice aggregation. Six Rockland County municipalities are offering residents and small businesses cheaper clean, renewable energy that is locally sourced via these tools.

Community Choice Aggregation with Joule

First of all, the 6 towns and villages are using community choice aggregation (CCA) as part of their collective renewable energy buying effort, since it is being pushed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA). The agencies reportedly consider it a “priority climate action” due to its potential to hasten the move away from dirty fossil fuel based energy. See here, here, and here for more information on CCA.

“The initiative will be offered through Rockland Community Power (RCP), a collaborative program that enables residents and small businesses to purchase renewable energy at a fixed cost that is lower than they have paid historically for standard (non-renewable) electricity supply.”

Joule Community Power (Joule) is leading and administering the initiative, which will launch on November 1. The 6 partner communities include:

  • Town of Clarkstown
  • Village of Haverstraw
  • Village of Nyack
  • Town of Orangetown
  • Village of South Nyack
  • Village of Upper Nyack

“Five of the six communities chose to default residents to a 100% renewable electricity product at a fixed and lower price that is less than they otherwise would pay for their standard supply, which is typically a mix of energy derived from fossil fuel and nuclear sources. Orangetown chose to maximize savings for residents by defaulting them to the RCP standard option at a still lower fixed price. Orangetown residents, however, have the option to cede a portion of their potential savings by switching to the 100% renewable option. Residents and businesses in the other communities may also change their supply option or opt out of the program. …

“These programs have cut costs for consumers and provide stronger consumer protection. The RCP community choice program is under the oversight of the New York State Public Service Commission.”

More details on the rates are below.

Renewable Rockland Community Power Rates vs. Average ORU Rate (per kWh)

Customer Class

Average 
ORU Standard
Supply Rate

Rockland
Community Power
100% Renewable
Fixed Rate

Rockland
Community Power
Standard Supply
Fixed Rate

Residential and Small Commercial

$0.07169

$0.07167

$0.06515

“Community choice aggregation provides a rare opportunity to achieve wins for everyone,” said Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann. “By participating in this program, Clarkstown residents will have the ability to save green by paying less for electricity, while also going green by purchasing their energy from clean, renewable, sources.”

Orangetown Supervisor Teresa Kenny said, “Community choice aggregation saves money, provides clean energy, and protects the consumer from unfair contracts and hidden fees. This public benefit is a win-win-win for the residents and businesses of Orangetown.”

Community Solar

Additionally, Rockland Community Power is offering it members “subscriptions” to a local solar farm. How easy is this choice? This is how easy: “utility customers are guaranteed to save up to an additional 10% annually on electricity. The guaranteed savings, received in the form of utility bill credits, are derived from NY State incentives for clean energy generation.”

For the community choice program, residents are enrolled automatically. For this one, hough, you must enroll yourself. And, yes, you can do both.

“Community solar is open to most ORU residential and small business customers regardless of whether they participate in the CCA. By participating in both the RCP community choice and community solar programs, subscribers can benefit from both the CCA’s lower, fixed energy supply rates and guaranteed savings for solar generation.”

We need such programs across the United States. Why would anyone not choose cheaper, cleaner community solar power that creates local jobs?

 
 


 


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About the Author

is tryin’ to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao.

Zach has long-term investments in NIO [NIO], Tesla [TSLA], and Xpeng [XPEV]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.