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Community Choice Aggregation

This page details the steps your community needs to take to get Clean Energy Communities certification for this Action Item by NYSERDA and how Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council (G/FLRPC) can assist you. As the Finger Lakes Region Clean Energy Coordinator, we are available to help you through any step in this process. Please email Rob Richardson at rrichardson@gflrpc.org, or if you have been in touch with other Regional Clean Energy Communities Coordinators at G/FLRPC, email them directly for help completing this action item. 

The purpose of Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is to allow participating local governments to procure energy supply service and distributed energy resources for eligible energy customers in the community. These customers will have the opportunity to opt out of the procurement, while maintaining transmission and distribution service from the existing Distribution Utility. 
 
CCA allows local governments to work together through a shared purchasing model to put out for bid the total amount of electricity and/or natural gas being purchased by eligible customers within the jurisdictional boundaries of participating municipalities. Eligible customers will have the opportunity to have more control to lower their overall energy costs, to spur clean energy innovation and investment, to improve customer choice and value, and to protect the environment, thereby fulfilling an important public purpose. 

Step 1: Pass a Local Law 

This requires holding a hearing and passing a local law (template). The local law allows for home rule authority in the area of energy purchasing. Your municipality can be the CCA Administrator, or you can contract with another entity.  
 
Cities, towns, and villages may wish to join together to pool demand and build market clout. In Community Choice Aggregation programs where one local government serves as the Administrator, other participating local governments may wish to enter into an Inter-Municipal Agreement with the municipal Administrator to create a Community Choice Aggregation program. Where the Administrator is a third party such as a nonprofit organization, private company, or local development corporation, municipalities may enter into a Memorandum of Understanding, contract, or other agreement with the Administrator to commit to participate in the program subject to certain terms and conditions. Templates for Memorandum of Understandings and Inter-Municipal Agreements can be found here:  
 https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Programs/Clean-Energy-Communities/How-It-Works/Toolkits/Community-Choice-Aggregation
 
Step 2: Do an Implementation Plan and Data Protection Plan 

The Implementation Plan helps municipal officials, Community Choice Aggregation teams, NYSERDA, and the Public Service Commission (PSC) clearly understand the goals, milestones, and deliverables. It also defines the roles and responsibilities of project partners as well as the Community Choice Aggregation’s approach to public engagement, outreach, and education. A template can be found through the above link. 
 
The Data Protection Plan must describe how the CCA Administrator will ensure the same level of consumer protections, including low income customers, as currently provided by utilities and ESCOs. 
 
Step 3: File copies of the Local Law, Implementation Plan and Data Protection Plan with the PSC 

The PSC requires that the plans from step 2 and local law from step 1 be sent to them for approval. Email Rob at rrichardson@gflrpc.org when you are ready to file these documents. He will help you through the process. 
 
Step 4: Send Opt-Out Letters 

After receiving approval by the PSC, your municipality will need to send opt-out letters to all rate payers. They have 2 months to opt-out. Additionally, the state requires a 3 month no-fee opt-out period after the contract period begins. An opt-out letter template can be found at the same link as the MOU and IMA's above. 
 
Step 5: Submit materials to NYSERDA for approval 

Submit a copy of an executed electric service agreement between the applying jurisdiction and an Energy Services Company (ESCO) to supply electricity to participating customers on an opt-out basis that is a default 100% renewable clean energy product mix. The ESCO electric service agreement should provide that the ESCO will retire renewable energy certificates (RECs) on behalf of the Municipality in a New York State Generation Attribute Tracking System (NYGATS) Account (with reports on such retirements to the Municipality) in a manner that is compliant with the environmental attributes and delivery rules of the New York Public Service Commission Environmental Disclosure Program. The electrical energy associated with the renewable energy certificates must be consumed at retail in New York State.

 Submit your documentation here: High Impact Action Item Document   


Community Choice Aggregation webinar​

Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) workshop for government leaders - Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council (G/FLRPC) and the Rochester People's Climate Coalition (RPCC) hosted a fourth Clean Energy Communities and Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) workshop for government leaders on February 7, 2018.  This meeting was scheduled to give interested municipalities a chance to discuss Community Choice Aggregation and the impact for their community.  Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council is the Clean Energy Communities Coordinator for the Finger Lakes Region.  Rochester People’s Choice Coalition (RPCC) is a grass-roots non-profit organization working to advance a transition to renewable energy at a local level in the greater Rochester and surrounding area. RPCC is also partnering with Joule Assets in to provide administrative and public outreach services to the area for CCA. Glen Weinburg attended the meeting representing Joule Assets along with representatives from RPCC. Together, they provided an update on local CCA activity and an overview of the proposed path forward.

Community Choice Aggregation

Community Choice Aggregation Meeting
Date: February 7, 2018

The NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities Program is a $16-million initiative to help local governments across the state reduce energy consumption and drive clean energy use in their communities. Local governments that complete four out of ten identified High Impact Actions will earn the Clean Energy Community designation and may have access to grant funding to implement additional clean energy projects. Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council is the Finger Lakes Region Clean Energy Communities Coordinator.   For more information on the Clean Energy Communities Program please visit http://www.gflrpc.org/clean-energy-communities.html​.

One of the ten High Impact Action Items is Community Choice Aggregation (CCA). The purpose of CCA is to allow participating local governments to procure energy supply service and distributed energy resources for eligible energy customers in the community. These customers will have the opportunity to opt out of the procurement, while maintaining transmission and distribution service from the existing Distribution Utility.  Four municipalities in the Finger Lakes region have passed a CCA local law.

CCA allows local governments to work together through a shared purchasing model to put out for bid the total amount of electricity and/or natural gas being purchased by eligible customers within the jurisdictional boundaries of participating municipalities. Eligible customers will have the opportunity to have more control to lower their overall energy costs, to spur clean energy innovation and investment, to improve customer choice and value, and to protect the environment, thereby fulfilling an important public purpose.

This meeting was scheduled to give interested municipalities a chance to discuss Community Choice Aggregation and the impact for their community.  Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council is the Clean Energy Communities Coordinator for the Finger Lakes Region.  Rochester People’s Choice Coalition (RPCC) is a grass-roots non-profit organization working to advance a transition to renewable energy at a local level in the greater Rochester and surrounding area. RPCC is also partnering with Joule Assets in to provide administrative and public outreach services to the area for CCA. Glen Weinburg attended the meeting representing Joule Assets along with representatives from RPCC. Together, they provided an update on local CCA activity and an overview of the proposed path forward.