Electricity Markets

Three N.Y. cities explore community choice aggregation

Three cities in New York State -- Albany, Schenectady, and Troy -- have joined a growing group of municipalities exploring community choice aggregation, New York-based Municipal Electric & Gas Alliance (MEGA) reported.

Community choice aggregation is a bulk electricity-buying program for residents and small businesses.

The three types of municipalities under New York State law eligible to form a CCA are villages, towns and cities.

County governments may act as CCA administrator but are not authorized to create a CCA independently of villages, towns and cities within the county.

Through community choice aggregation, municipalities are able to customize the program based on their values and priorities, such as choosing a 100% renewable electricity supply. Community choice aggregators can also offer better electric rates and price stability for residents and small businesses through bulk purchasing and competition, MEGA noted.

In New York, the Cities of Glens Falls, Saratoga Springs, Watervliet, the Towns of Bethlehem, Guilderland, Knox, New Scotland, Niskayuna, the Villages of Voorheesville, Altamont, and Kinderhook are also seeking to offer their residents and small businesses additional electricity choices by participating in community choice aggregation.

Along with New York State, community choice aggregation has emerged in several other states, including Massachusetts, Illinois, and California.

The municipalities listed above have chosen MEGA as their community choice aggregation administrator.

In partnership with the communities, MEGA will oversee the creation, development, and implementation of the program, and also provide education and outreach to residents. No taxpayer or government funds will be used in the creation or operation of the program.

MEGA notes that it is a not-for-profit local development corporation with two decades of experience serving the energy needs of around 300 municipalities and other businesses across upstate New York.

MEGA currently has an operational community choice aggregation program for 21 municipalities in the Southern Tier of New York State.

Hudson Valley Community Power, a community choice aggregation (CCA) program, comprised of six communities in New York's Hudson Valley, launched in 2019.

Additional details about the origins and framework of the CCA structure in the state are available in this order from the New York Public Service Commission.

The American Public Power Association has initiated a new category of membership for Community Choice Aggregation programs. Learn more information here.