New York has one of the most ambitious renewable energy visions of any state. Several years after the establishment of New York’s first CCA, Westchester Power is doing well and continuing to grow. As of January, 2023, hundreds municipalities have launched or are pursuing CCAs to achieve local energy goals.
communities with Local CCA Authorization
active CCA community
inactive CCA communities
MWh of annual load (2022)
statewide population participants
1.5 to 3
Use this interactive map to explore CCA communities across New York.
Use your mouse to zoom in and click on flags for more information.
In 2014 New York State began a series of reforms that are referred to as Reforming the Energy Vision (REV). These programs are designed to benefit both the environment and the state’s economy by creating many small, local, clean power plants throughout New York and increasing the benefits of retail price competition for residential and business customers. The Order Instituting Proceeding and Soliciting Comments about CCAs was issued on December 15, 2014.
In February, 2015 the New York Public Service Commission approved the plans for creating the state’s first CCA, Westchester Power, to serve communities in Westchester County, a well-to-do region north of New York City. The Public Service Commission also laid down the ground rules for future CCAs in New York on April 21, 2016 when it issued an “Order Authorizing Framework for Community Choice Aggregation Opt-Out Program.” The order encourages formation of CCAs by individual cities, towns and villages or by groups of those municipalities. However, it forbids Counties from forming CCAs. In New York, a concept called “home rule” gives cities, towns and villages a kind of sovereignty that does not allow counties to make decisions that bind municipalities.
On Oct. 13, 2016 the PSC took steps to make it easier for communities to form CCAs by modifying its April 21, 2016 decision in Case 14-M-0224. The order requires greater sharing of customer information between incumbent utilities and CCAs and allows gradual roll-out of CCAs in large cities rather than requiring all residents and small businesses to be enrolled at the same time. This provision for gradual roll-out in New York was a huge win for CCAs in the state. Several New York City Community Boards, which are advisory groups with real power on local issues, are currently investigating forming community-scale CCAs within New York City.
One unique feature of the New York electricity market is that IOUs are not allowed to offer stable electricity prices. Generation charges fluctuate monthly, and can range from as low as 3 cents/kWh to 15 cents/kWh. CCAs, on the other hand, can offer stable prices and can guarantee those rates for one or more years, depending on the duration of the supply contract they enter into.
2022 was a good year for CCA participants in the state. Each customer participating in a CCA program in New York has saved up to $180 in 2022, for a total of $25 million saved with CCA that year. As shown in the graph below, average CCA rates in New York have remained more stable and affordable than the utilities’ rates.
In 2022, 75% of the total energy served by CCA communities was renewable.
Despite serving less than 5% of New York State’s population, in 2021, CCAs accounted for more than 30% of New York renewable electricity voluntarily purchased.
New York CCAs buy their renewable power in-state only, as it is a requirement to qualify as “renewable energy.” CCA communities use NYS RECs registered through the New York Generation Attribute Tracking System (“NYGATS”). Most New York CCA programs have used 100% NYS hydropower RECs registered through NYGATS allowing CCA communities to avoid 1,300,000 metric tons (“MT”) of CO2 since 2016
New York’s regulations make CCAs “opt out” for residences and small businesses, but “opt in” for large businesses and industrial accounts. They emphasize local renewables and distributed energy resources (DER), which are cornerstones of the Renewable Energy Vision.
Since its launch in May, 2016, Westchester Power has grown to 29 communities accounting for 145,000 Westchester electric customers, representing 40% of the county residents.
Joule Community Power's first program launched in 2019 and now serves 56 communities/800,000 customers with $18 million in electricity cost savings in 2022. New initiatives include an Energy Storage for Social Equity project in Rochester and a Community Solar project in Southampton.
Municipal Electric & Gas Alliance (MEGA) presently serves more than 30 county governments and more than 250 municipalities, including many school districts.
CCA-Enabling Legislation: Governor’s Press Release
INVESTOR OWNED UTILITIES
12 mid-Hudson towns aggregated energy-buying power. Here’s how it works. Times Union, June 12, 2023
Energy Collective to Relaunch, Without Beacon. The Highlands Current, March 17, 2023
Rochester to start electricity aggregation program. sippican.theweektoday.com, January 13, 2023
Kingston launches green energy pooling plan. dailyfreeman.com, October 26, 2022
A quest for cleaner energy: Community Choice Aggregation Program in Rochester. rochesterfirst.com, August 16, 2022
23,000 community choice aggregation customers sent back to Central Hudson. dailyfreeman.com, August 5, 2022
CCA program comes to a premature end…for now. hudsonvalleyone.com, August 1, 2022
Brighton renewable power program on pause after contractor defaults. rochestercitynewspaper.com, July 13, 2022
Henrietta and Rush are eyeing renewable power for residents and businesses. rochestercitynewspaper.com, May 24, 2022
Yonkers Announces 100% Renewable Energy Supply Program for Residents. Yonkers Times, January 9, 2022