Yonkers has Joined Westchester
Power to Bring Renewable
Energy to its Residents!

After an extensively collaborative process between the City of Yonkers, Sustainable Westchester, and partners within the community, Yonkers has taken the steps to bring the power of community choice and renewable energy to the city and its residents! Yonkers joined the community energy program known as Westchester Power, starting on March 1st, 2022.

This page aims to help Yonkers residents learn about the program goals, how it works, and the benefits to residents and the City. Please contact us with any questions you may have.

If you previously opted out or were with another ESCO and the contract has ended or is in month-to-month, you can opt-in to the Westchester Power supply program here.

Residents get the facts — see what the press has to say:

Westchester Municipalities
Collectively Fight Climate
Change Through Energy
Choice Power

Westchester Power is a community electricity program managed by local nonprofit Sustainable Westchester. The program was established in 2016 and today includes 28 Westchester County municipalities who buy their electricity in bulk to provide low-cost fixed rates. With the addition of the City of Yonkers in March, the program will expand to 29 municipalities and provide 100% renewable energy supply to roughly 135,000 Westchester residents and small businesses (and standard energy supply to another 10,000 accounts).

To date, this program has been able to offset the emission of roughly 880,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere. That represents ~191,000 cars off the road for a year, or 14.6 million seedlings grown for 10 years.

Since the recording of this video the Village of Tuckahoe joined the program (with the 2020 contract).

Westchester Power Basics & Yonkers Contract

Westchester Power:

  • Westchester Power is 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 a qualified Energy Service Company (ESCO), selected through a competitive bidding process.
  • The distribution, maintenance, and billing services remains with the utility.
  • Enrollment is on an “opt-out” basis- you will receive a notification letter in January with all the program details, and will be enrolled unless you respond to Sustainable Westchester, indicating your wish to opt-out. 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.

Yonkers:

  • Through the competitive bidding process, Constellation New Energy (CNE) was awarded the contract to be the ESCO provider to the City of Yonkers for the initial launch.
  • CNE will supply electricity to Yonkers starting from the program launch on March 1st, until November 30th, 2023.
  • There are two fixed-rate supply options available to Yonkers residents through Westchester Power:
    • 100% Renewable: 8.710¢/kWh
    • Standard (a mix of fossil fuels, nuclear, and some renewable energy): 7.287¢/kWh
  • The City of Yonkers has chosen to have the 100% Renewable supply option as its default offering to residents. Should you wish to opt-out of the program or switch your supply option, you have the power to do that any time by contacting Sustainable Westchester.
  • Pre-enrollment opt out deadline is 2/9/2022. Opt-outs received by 2/9/2022 will have never been enrolled in the program. Opt out or supply change options are available though at any time without cost or penalty.

Yonkers Westchester Power Rates

*  Westchester Power rates are fixed from first meter reads in March 2022 to first meter reads after November 30, 2023
**  The Public Service Commission requires that we post the 12 month trailing utility average, but it is important to note that since Con Edison rates vary from month to month and future rates cannot be known, the historical averages provided do not provide a basis for predicting how Westchester Power fixed rates will compare to Con Edison rates over the term of the contract.
***  12-month average reflects the period from December 2020 to November 2021 and was included in notification letters about the program. The 6 month average is for the period August 2020 through January 2021.
****  All Westchester Cities and Villages in Westchester assess a Gross Receipts tax on utility services. The GRT rate for Yonkers is 3%, and applies to electric supply whether from Con Edison, Westchester Power or an ESCO.
For a Yonkers resident who consumes 450 kWh of electricity in a month, a 1¢ difference in their supply rate would equate to a $4.50 effect on the bill.

Upcoming Outreach Events

Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 12 noon: Online program information session for newly eligible residents who have received notification letters. Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82060055922

Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 7 PM: 2nd Online program information session for newly eligible residents. Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85391674697 

Jueves 10 de noviembre a las 7:00 pm sesión de información en español del programa en línea para residentes recién elegibles. Enlace de zoom:
: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85391674697

***

Please contact westchesterpower@SustainableWestchester.org if you are interested in co-sponsoring a future information session on the Yonkers Community Energy Program.

Yonkers Past Events

  • Biweekly “Energy Education” Evening Drop-Ins @ 8:00 PM on:  Wednesday; March 30th on ZOOM
  • Biweekly “Lunch and Learn” Drop-Ins @ 12:00 PM on: Wednesday; March 30th on ZOOM
  • Biweekly “Energy Education” Evening Drop-Ins @ 6:00 PM on: Wednesday; March 30th on ZOOM
  • Yonkers Office of Aging: Information Session, Crestwood Library 2/2/2022
  • Yonkers Library Community Energy & Education Sessions; 2/24. 3/3/2022 @ 6PM
  • Town Hall with Councilman John Rubbo 2/9/2022 @ 7:00 PM
  • Zoom Office Hours: 1/20, 1/27 @ 12 noon & 5pm; 1/20 @ 8PM
  • 2022 Information Session to learn more on 1/5/2022 (Noon & 6 Pm).
  • 4 Biweekly “Energy Education”** Evening drop-in sessions @ 7:00 PM starting on Monday; April 12th.
    *Lunch & Learn” Dates: 4/7,4/14,4/28,5/5,5/12,5/19,5/26
    ** “Energy Education” Dates: 4/12, 4/26, 5/10, 5/24
  • Thursday; June 3rd, 2021 – Community Information Session with County Legislator Ruth Walter
  • Wednesday; June 2nd, 2021 – Community Information Session with City Councilwoman Tasha Diaz
  • 8 Weekly Lunch and Learn Drop-Ins @ 12:00 PM starting on Wednesday; April 7th.
  • 4 evening biweekly drop-in sessions @ 7:00 PM starting on Monday; April 5th.
  • Monday; April 26th, 2021 – Community Information Session with Councilman John Rubbo
  • May 7th, 2021 – Spanish Community Information Session with County Legislator Jose Alvarado
  • Monday; May 10th, 2021 – Community Information Session with Council President Mike Khader
  • March 31, 2021. 6:30 PM Spanish Community Information Session with Yonkers City Council Majority Leader Corazon Pineda Isaac.
  • April 7, 2021 6:30 PM Community Information Session Town Hall with Yonkers City Council Majority Leader Corazon Pineda Isaac.
  • April 14, 2021 6:30 PM Community Information Session with Catholic Charities Community Services.
  • March 22, 2021, 6:30PM, Westchester Power: Community Energy Information Event ,Co-sponsored by the Yonkers Public Library, Groundwork Hudson Valley and the Yonkers Paddling & Rowing Club (ZOOM event)
  • Yonkers Gets Set to Join Westchester Power
  • March 3, 2021, 12 Noon, Lunch & Learn: Community Energy In Yonkers
  • February 22, 2021, 6PM, Westchester Power: Community Energy Information Session (Zoom event)
  • January 27, 2021, Westchester Power: Community Energy Information Session. (ZOOM event) Listen to the session.
  • March 4, 2020, Univision’s “Tu Lado En Yonkers”
  • February 13, 2020, District 1 Town Hall
  • November 5, 2019, Main Library
  • October 22, 2019, Nepperhan Community Center
  • October 8, 2019, North Yonkers Preservation
  • September 30, 2019, Peter Chema Community Center
  • September 20, 2019, Bronx River Road Senior Center
  • September 14, 2019, RIverfest
  • August 18, 2019, Grinton I. Will Library
  • August 13, 2019, Riverfront Library
  • August 8, 2019, Grinton I. Will Library
  • September 15, 2018, Riverfest

Email Westchester Power program staff with any of your questions or comments about the program:
westchesterpower@sustainablewestchester.org

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.

Demand Response – Previously available only to large commercial businesses, Sustainable Westchester has collaborated with a technology firm, Logical Buildings, to pilot demand response for residential customers. By cutting usage during a few peak hours of the year, Con Ed can avoid switching on the dirtiest “Peaker Plants”, and will pay you money for that. Learn more about the GridRewards program here.

City Participation Process

New York State Public Service Commission regulations specify the process for formation of a municipal Community Choice Aggregation program. The main steps include:

Enacting an enabling law – This is essentially the legal announcement that the City takes unto itself the authority to establish a CCA program. It oblige the City to actually do so however.

Community outreach/education activity – while there have already been a number of events, it doesn’t “count” for the purposes of complying with the regulations unless it happens after the Enabling Law is enacted. These additional outreach activities will require 2-3 months to complete.

Submission to the Department of Public Service for approval – The DPS is the State agency which oversees and enforces the regulations of the Public Service Commission. The records of the outreach, a copy of the local Enabling Law, and a copy of the form of the participant notification letter format are submitted to DPS, and usually within a couple of weeks the issue an approval for the municipality to participate in the CCA. This still does not obligate the City to actually participate.

Request For Proposals / Bidding – the program suppliers are selected through a competitive bidding process. In a new innovation, we are now incorporating a reverse auction platform where bidders can see each others bids as the price gets ratcheted down. Participating municipalities sign a Memorandum of Understanding which commits them to signing the Electric Service Agreement with the winning bidder as long as it meets the MOU criteria.

Signing the Electric Service Agreement – This contract awards to the winning supplier the rights to supply the eligible residents and small businesses on an opt-out basis (see “Westchester Power Basics”). The notification letters and other associated processes are initiated with this step.

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, increased global temperatures, and triggered extreme weather events at the local levels, such as more frequent and higher intensity storms and changes in seasonal patterns. Here’s a short video about the greenhouse effect which is responsible for this problem.

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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