Important News About Your Community Energy Program

Thank you to all of our NYSEG Westchester Power program municipalities, their residents and small businesses for making a commitment to renewable energy and contributing to a positive environmental impact.

Come mid to end of November, Westchester Power’s contract with its current supplier will expire.

  • This means that NYSEG customers enrolled in Westchester Power will temporarily be transferred back to the default supply offered by NYSEG on their next meter read date after November 10- 30th based on specific billing type.
  • This is an intentional and strategic pause in service to provide adequate time for the competitive bidding to secure the best economic value for renewable energy in the volatile energy market
  • The brief switch will enable the program to ensure that the subsequent contract maximizes the value proposition for customers in NYSEG service territory.
  • Updates will be made available to you directly but as always, you may reach out anytime to either Dan Welsh or Nick Tedrow at westchesterpower@sustainablewestchester.org. with your questions/concerns.

Continued Commitment To Clean Energy

Since 2016, the Westchester Power Community Energy program has helped municipalities in the NYSEG service territory increase the use of renewable energy,  leverage the collective purchasing power of its residents to control costs and provide insurance against fluctuations in electricity supply.

Positioning the program for a Spring service resumption will enable us to continue building on the positive environmental impact and progress toward a clean energy transition with a secure and long-term vision.

In NYSEG communities alone, the Westchester Power Community Energy program (in 5 years) reduced carbon emissions by 400,000 MT of CO2 in 5 years, the equivalent of taking nearly 8,700 cars off the road for one year.

Westchester Power Basics

  • It’s a program that allows local governments to procure electricity, gas, and other services on behalf of their residents and small businesses.
  • The program supplier is selected from qualified Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) through a competitive bidding process.
  • Distribution, maintenance, billing remains with utility
  • Enrollment is on “opt-out” basis- you receive a notification letter with all the program details, and are enrolled unless you say you do not want to be. Participants can exit (or change supply option) at any time with no fee.
  • By joining together, communities gain leverage to negotiate better rates with competitive suppliers and choose greener power sources.

Questions?

Find answers in this Frequently Asked Questions document, or if you prefer, here’s a video version.

A Community
Energy Platform

The large scale of the program enables us to attract new opportunities for increased environmental impact and potential savings. These include:

Community Solar – You can help put more clean energy on the grid and save money at the same time by subscribing to a large solar farm through Sustainable Westchester’s Community Solar program. Currently, participation requires a separate signup process and a two bill system (your electric bill and a separate solar credits bill). NY State has required Con Ed and other utilities to include Community Solar on the electric bill, which means that the program will be able to deliver solar discount credits directly without a separate bill.

This has very exciting implications for our ability to engage and provide benefits to low income households.

Solar developers have taken particular interest and this should stimulate more projects in Westchester. Meanwhile, you can subscribe today and save up to 10% on your electric bill.

Let’s Talk Clean Energy

Why clean energy? By now, everyone has heard of climate change, but it’s not always easy to make the connection to our daily lives. Our energy choices are, however, linked to many of the most serious challenges that we face these days, as well as the question of what kind of future we leave our children.

Most of our electricity is still generated by burning fossil fuels which release greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. This has contributed to our environment’s degradation, increasing temperatures and local effects such as more frequent higher intensity storms and changes in seasonal patterns. Here’s a short video about the greenhouse effect which is responsible for this problem.

sw

Solar, wind, and hydropower are emissions-free sources of energy. New York State has an aggressive plan to switch over to these clean energy sources and away from fossil fuels. Westchester communities have taken the lead in these efforts, and now dozens of NY communities have followed with similar programs.

Clean Energy Implications
for Westchester County

Our communities need to move away from fossil fuel-powered electricity quickly to help mitigate the challenges associated with Climate Change. A transformation towards clean-powered electricity is entirely possible.

Westchester Power communities can help accelerate this transition, promoting the generation of clean energy, as well as sending signals to electricity generators, investors, and governments that we place a high priority on ensuring a sustainable and healthy future.

Our energy choices and COVID 19

Studies are showing that areas with higher levels of pollution see worse outcomes from COVID 19. Many observers have pointed out the similarities in the challenges since both require collective, long-term action to solve.

Sea Level Rise

Over the past century, the Hudson has risen about a foot due to global warming (see this Scenic Hudson article), threatening households and habitats. This map shows how the Yonkers waterfront may fare over this century. We can reduce the impact and costs by taking strong action to reverse the growth of greenhouse gases.

Temperature rise & disparate impacts

By the year 2100, on our current trajectory, New York starts to look more like Florida (Climate Central):

But like so many of the effects of global warming, the impact can vary greatly. Groundwork Hudson Valley has done amazing work to go one step further and show how the practice of Redlining has amplified the environmental justice aspect of the problem through the creation of “heat islands” [read more here]:

More resources about local climate change impacts