[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Greenburgh 9-29-2015 by L.L. No. 12-2015. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the policy of both the Town of Greenburgh and the State of New York to reduce costs and provide cost certainty for the purpose of economic development; to promote deeper penetration of energy efficiency and renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar; and wider deployment of distributed energy resources; as well as to examine the retail energy markets and increase participation of and benefits for residential and small commercial customers in those markets. Among the policies and models that may offer benefits in New York is community choice aggregation, which allows local governments to determine the default supplier of electricity and natural gas on behalf of its residential and small commercial customers.
The purpose of this Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Energy Program is to allow participating governments, including the Town of Greenburgh, to procure energy supply service for their residential and small commercial customers, who will have the opportunity to opt out of the procurement, while maintaining transmission and distribution service from the existing distribution utility. This chapter establishes a program that will allow the Town of Greenburgh to put out for bid the total amount of natural gas and/or electricity being purchased by local residential and small commercial customers. These 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 the purposes of this chapter and fulfilling an important public purpose.
The Town of Greenburgh is authorized to implement this Community Choice Aggregation (Energy) Program pursuant to Section 10(1)(ii)(a)(12) of the New York Municipal Home Rule Law, and State of New York Public Service Commission Orders issued in Cases 14-M-0564 and 14-M-0224 ("PSC Order").
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Sustainable Westchester: Community Choice Aggregation (Energy) Program Law of the Town of Greenburgh."
For purposes of this chapter, and unless otherwise expressly stated or unless the context otherwise requires, the terms in this chapter shall have the meanings employed in the State of New York Public Service Commission's Uniform Business Practices or, if not so defined there, as indicated below:
- BUNDLED CUSTOMERS
- Residential and small commercial customers of electricity or natural gas ("fuels") who are purchasing the fuels from the Distribution Utility.
- COMMUNITY CHOICE AGGREGATION PROGRAM or CCA PROGRAM
- A municipal energy procurement program which replaces the incumbent utility as the default Supplier for all Bundled Customers within the Town of Greenburgh.
- DISTRIBUTION UTILITY
- The owner or controller of the means of distribution of the natural gas or electricity that is regulated by the Public Service Commission.
- PSC ORDER
- An order of the State of New York Public Service Commission (PSC) in Case 14-M-0564, Petition of Sustainable Westchester for Expedited Approval for the Implementation of a Pilot Community Choice Aggregation Program within the County of Westchester, Order Granting Petition in Part (issued February 26, 2015), as may be amended and agreed to by the Town of Greenburgh, including subsequent orders of the PSC issued in connection with or related to Case 14-M-0564. "PSC Order" shall also mean orders of the PSC related to Case 14-M-0224, Proceeding on Motion of the Commission to Enable Community Choice Aggregation Programs (issued December 15, 2014), to the extent that orders related to Case 14-M-0224 enable actions by the Town of Greenburgh not otherwise permitted pursuant to orders related to Case 14-M-0564; provided, however, that in the event of any conflict between orders from Case 14-M-0564 and orders from Case 14-M-0224, orders from Case 14-M-0564 shall govern the CCA Program.
- PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
- The New York State Public Service Commission.
- SMALL COMMERCIAL CUSTOMERS
- Nonresidential customers as permitted by the PSC Order.
- Energy service companies (ESCOs) that procure electric power and natural gas for Bundled Customers in connection with this Chapter or, alternatively, generators of electricity and natural gas or other entities that procure and resell electricity or natural gas.
- SUSTAINABLE WESTCHESTER
- A not-for-profit organization comprised of member municipalities in Westchester County, New York.
A Community Choice Aggregation (Energy) (CCA) Program is hereby established by the Town of Greenburgh whereby the Town of Greenburgh shall work together with Sustainable Westchester to implement the CCA Program to the full extent permitted by the PSC Order. The Town of Greenburgh's role under the CCA Program involves the aggregating of the electric and/or natural gas supply of its residents and the entering into a contract with one or more Suppliers. Under the CCA Program, the operation and ownership of the utility service shall remain with the Distribution Utility.
The Town of Greenburgh's participation in a CCA Program constitutes neither the purchase of a public utility system nor the furnishing of utility service. The Town of Greenburgh will not take over any part of the electric or gas transmission or distribution system and will not furnish any type of utility service.
In order to implement the CCA Program, the Town of Greenburgh will adopt one or more resolutions that outline the process of and conditions for participation in the CCA Program, including but not limited to signing a contract for a compliant bid with one or more Suppliers, all consistent with this chapter and the PSC Order.
As permitted by the PSC Order, the Town of Greenburgh may request from the Distribution Utilities aggregated customer information, by fuel type and service classification, on a rolling basis.
Sustainable Westchester, on behalf of the Town of Greenburgh, shall issue one or more requests for proposals to Suppliers to provide energy to participants and may then award a contract in accordance with the CCA Program.
Sustainable Westchester or the Town of Greenburgh, if the Town so chooses, subject to confidentiality requirements satisfactory to the Town Attorney and Town Board, will then request individual customer data from the Distribution Utility in accordance with the CCA Program.
At no cost to the Town of Greenburgh, Sustainable Westchester or the Town of Greenburgh, if the Town so chooses, and the selected Supplier will then notify Bundled Customers of the contract terms and their opportunity to opt out of the CCA Program.
In accordance with and for purposes of the PSC Order, the existing Distribution Utility, subject to confidentiality requirements satisfactory to the Town Attorney and Town Board, will provide to Sustainable Westchester aggregate and customer-specific data (including usage data, capacity tag obligations, account numbers, and service addresses) of all Bundled Customers in the Town of Greenburgh not currently enrolled with an ESCO.
Sustainable Westchester and the Town of Greenburgh will protect customer information as required by law, subject to the Order and the limitations of the New York State Freedom of Information Law.
At no cost to the Town of Greenburgh, the Town of Greenburgh or in conjunction with the chosen Supplier will notify its bundled residential and small commercial customers, by letter notice, of the Town of Greenburgh's decision to establish the CCA Program, of the contract terms with the chosen Supplier, and of the opportunity to opt out of the CCA Program. The Town of Greenburgh may also notify residents currently enrolled with an ESCO of the CCA Program, the contract terms, and their opportunity to participate in the CCA program.
The letter notice will be sent to each customer at the address provided by the Distribution Utility and will explain the CCA Program and the material provisions of the contract with the chosen Supplier, identify the methods by which the customer can opt out of the CCA Program, and provide information on how the customer can access additional information about the CCA Program.
The opt-out period shall be 20 days.
CCA Program Bundled Customers, upon enrollment, will receive a welcome letter that will explain the customers' options for canceling the enrollment if they believe they were enrolled incorrectly or otherwise decide to withdraw from the CCA Program in favor of another Supplier. The welcome letter also will explain that residential customers are entitled to the added protection of the mandated three-day rescission period as detailed in Section 5(B)(3) of the Uniform Business Practices.
In the event that the chosen Supplier's price is higher than the average Distribution Utility's price for three consecutive months, the Town of Greenburgh will post such occurrence on the Town of Greenburgh website and may notify by mail CCA program customers who are subject to the default rate.
Sustainable Westchester shall be responsible for filing an annual report with the Public Service Commission, which identifies the number of customers enrolled in the CCA Program by municipality and customer class, the number of customers who returned to utility service or service with another Supplier during the reporting period, and the average cost of commodity supply, by month, for the reporting period. Sustainable Westchester shall file a copy of the report with the Town of Greenburgh.