To the Editor,
Community Choice Aggregation, or CCA, is a program overseen by the New York State Public Service Commission that enables towns and villages to secure lower electricity rates for their residents, small businesses, houses of worship, and other organizations. CCA also enables them to get their electricity from clean energy sources such as wind and solar safely and reliably.
About ⅔ of Westchester County’s communities have gone CCA with clean energy saving customers more than $17 million. Six towns and villages representing ⅓ of Rockland County are on their way to enjoying similar benefits. At the same time, some misconceptions about CCA have emerged in the public conversation on how the program works and the choices consumers have available to them:
● Misconception #1: CCA is for municipal electricity needs only. False: CCA is for consumers, small businesses, houses of worship, and other organizations classified as Service Class 2 by Orange & Rockland (O&R). Governments may find they are also eligible to participate and save money with clean energy.
● Misconception #2: CCA would affect a small number of residents because the majority of them already have chosen to get their electricity from an Energy Service Company (ESCO) other than O&R. False: Residents who get their electricity from another ESCO may continue to do so, or they may opt to participate in a CCA. It’s entirely their choice.
● Misconception #3: Towns and villages who receive gross tax rebates from O&R could lose those monies if they adopt CCA. False: gross tax rebates are not affected by CCA.
● Misconception #4: With CCA towns and villages are billing residents for their electricity. False: Towns and villages are securing lower electricity rates using clean energy for O&R customers and others who choose to participate. O&R will continue to bill for electricity (and to maintain transmission lines and other delivery infrastructure).
● Misconception #5: CCA reduces consumer choice. False: CCA gives consumers another (and powerful) way to get their electricity. Consumers continue to decide who supplies their electricity. Consumers who currently get electricity from another ESCO may opt to cancel that arrangement and join a CCA, or continue with their ESCO of choice. Consumers can expect to pay less through CCA than as individual customers.
Because Community Choice Aggregation operates in a free market, misconceptions about the program will continue to surface. The Rockland Sierra Club is working to promote a better understanding of how CCA works and how CCA benefits residents, small businesses, and other organizations in Rockland County. For more information on CCA and how to bring CCA to your community, contact [email protected] or check www.rocklandsierraclub.org.
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