Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) announced the town has issued a request for proposal for a natural gas supplier for the town’s new Community Choice Aggregation program, an energy program that allows local governments to buy electricity and gas on behalf of its residents.
Brookhaven officials outlined such a program to the town board back in October, 2019. CCA is a municipal energy procurement model that replaces the utility as the default supplier for virtually all homes and small businesses with your jurisdiction. The utility remains responsible for energy delivery and billing. By pooling demand, communities build clout necessary to negotiate lower rates with private suppliers and are able to choose cleaner energy. CCA allows for the bulk purchasing of electricity and/or gas and, if all goes according to plan, provides the ability to obtain more competitive rates from energy suppliers, ultimately saving money for residents and commercial properties.
“Community Choice Aggregation could result in cheaper, cleaner energy use for all of our residents and businesses in Brookhaven and would give them the opportunity to seek an alternative utility provider for the first time,” Romaine said in a release. “Issuing this RFP for a natural gas provider brings us one step closer to putting in place the first CCA on Long Island.”
After receiving bids for potential CCA electrical/gas rates, officials said the town will examine if there is a cost savings benefit to residents and small businesses and choose whether to sign the contract to begin CCA. If approved, residents and businesses currently served by the local utility company do not need to do anything in order to be included within the CCA — they will automatically be included, unless they affirmatively opt-out. There is no contract for the resident or small business to sign or enter into. If a resident or business wishes to leave the CCA program, they may terminate at any time with no early termination or exit fee. No taxpayer or public funding is used to run a CCA Program.
The CCA program was created by the New York State Public Service Commission in April 2016. Westchester was the first New York county, through the Sustainable Westchester consortium, to launch the CCA program under Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).
Other municipalities on Long Island that are in the process of establishing CCA programs include Hempstead, Southampton, and East Hampton Towns. More than 80 municipalities across New York State have enacted legislation to begin the process to adopt CCA.