Brian Pugh: CCA–1 Year Later

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To the Editor,

This week marks the one year anniversary of the rejection of Sustainable Westchester’s Westchester Power Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Program by the Croton United majority (over the objections of me and Trustee Ann Gallelli). Earlier this month, Dr. Mayor Greg Schmidt and village staff met with a representative of Westchester Power–I hope this discussion will be a catalyst for a timely correction by the Village Board that results in our Village reaping the benefits of CCA sooner rather than later.

Westchester Power (Community Choice Aggregation, a/k/a CCA) is a community-based bulk energy purchasing program intended to lower costs and increase the use of renewable energy in Westchester County. Westchester Power is a program initiated and implemented by Sustainable Westchester, a non-profit organization that serves member cities, towns and villages.

Day by day, the wisdom of CCA becomes ever clearer. The New York Public Service Commission, the chief utility regulator, authorized CCA statewide on the basis of the success of the Westchester Power CCA. Leading environmental groups including the Clearwater Hudson River Sloop, Riverkeeper and the NY League of Conservation voters have all praised CCA. Sustainable Westchester has been honored by the US EPA as a NYS Environmental Champion for establishing Westchester Power.

Westchester Power CCA is also a demonstrated economic, as well as environmental, success. As documented in the “Rate Update” available at westchesterpower.org, CCA has consistently beaten the standard Con Edison price. Even the 100% renewable option under CCA has, more often than not, beaten the Con Edison price for electricity. With the US Energy Information Agency forecasting continued price hikes for electricity in 2017 and 2018, the financially responsible thing to do would be for our Village to help lock in relatively low energy prices sooner rather than later.

As it stands, the current CCA contract will run through May 2018. After spending a year watching our neighbors in Ossining, Tarrytown and Irvington save money and reduce their carbon footprint, I think the Village should not force residents to wait any longer and, instead, work with all deliberate speed to secure the community affordable renewable power through the Westchester Power CCA.

Sincerely,

Brian Pugh

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