[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Wappingers Falls 7-12-2017 by L.L. No. 5-2017. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the policy of both the Village of Wappingers Falls, New York (municipality) 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 hydroelectric, 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 eligible consumers in those markets. Among the policies and models that may offer benefits in New York is community choice aggregation (CCA), which allows local governments to determine the default supplier of electricity and/or natural gas on behalf of eligible consumers.
The purpose of CCA is to allow participating local governments to procure both energy supply service and distributed energy resources for eligible consumers, 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 (CCA Program) that will allow the municipality and other local governments to work together through a shared purchasing model to put out for bid the total amount of natural gas and/or electricity being purchased by eligible consumers within the jurisdictional boundaries of participating municipalities, as well as to bid out for the development of distributed energy resources for the benefit of eligible consumers. Eligible consumers 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 municipality is authorized to implement this CCA Program pursuant to § 10, Subdivision (1)(ii)(a)(12) of the New York Municipal Home Rule Law; and State of New York Public Service Commission Case No. 14-M-0224, Proceeding on Motion of the Commission to Enable Community Choice Aggregation Programs (issued April 21, 2016), as may be amended, including subsequent orders of the Public Service Commission (PSC) issued in connection with or related to Case No. 14-M-0224, to the extent that orders related to Case No. 14-M-0224 enable actions by the municipality.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Community Choice Aggregation (Energy) Program Law" of the municipality.
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:
- AGGREGATED DATA
- Aggregated and anonymized information including the number of consumers by service class, the aggregated peak demand (kW) (for electricity) by month for the past 12 months, by service class to the extent possible, and the aggregated energy (kWh) for electricity or volumetric consumption for gas by month for the past 12 months by service class.
- CCA ADMINISTRATOR
- The Village of Wappingers Falls, New York or a third party selected by the Village, duly authorized to put out for bid the total amount of electricity and/or natural gas being purchased by participating consumers and the distributed energy resources that will be incorporated into the CCA Program. The CCA Administrator is responsible for CCA Program organization, administration, procurement, and communications, unless otherwise specified.
- CUSTOMER SPECIFIC DATA
- Customer specific information, personal data and utility data for all consumers in the municipality eligible for opt-out treatment based on the terms of PSC CCA Order and the CCA Program design, including the customer of record's name, mailing address, telephone number, account number, and primary language, if available, and any customer-specific alternate billing name, address, and phone number.
- DATA SECURITY AGREEMENT
- An agreement between the Distribution utility and the municipality that obligates each party to meet, collectively:
All national, state and local laws, regulations or other government standards relating to the protection of information that identifies or can be used to identify an individual eligible consumer with respect to the CCA Administrator or its representative's processing of confidential utility information;
The distribution utility's internal requirements and procedures relating to the protection of information that identifies or can be used to identify an individual eligible consumer with respect to the CCA Administrator or its representative's processing of confidential utility information; and
The PSC CCA Order and PSC rules, regulations and guidelines relating to confidential data.
- DEFAULT SERVICE
- Supply service provided by the distribution utility to consumers who are not currently receiving service from an energy service company (ESCO). Eligible consumers within the municipality that receive default service, and have not opted out, will be enrolled in the Program as of the effective date.
- DISTRIBUTED ENERGY RESOURCES (DER)
- Local renewable energy projects, shared renewables like community solar, energy efficiency, demand response, energy management, energy storage, microgrid projects and other innovative reforming the energy vision (REV) initiatives that optimize system benefits, target and address load pockets/profile within the CCA's zone, and reduce cost of service for participating consumers.
- DISTRIBUTION UTILITY
- Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corp., or any successor thereto.
- ELIGIBLE CONSUMERS
- Eligible customers of electricity and/or natural gas who receive default service from the distribution utility as of the effective date, or new consumers that subsequently become eligible to participate in the Program, at one or more locations within the geographic boundaries of the municipality, except those consumers who receive default service and have requested not to have their account information shared by the distribution utility. For the avoidance of doubt, all eligible consumers must reside or be otherwise located at one or more locations within the geographic boundaries of the municipality, as such boundaries exist on the effective date of the ESA.
- ESCO or ENERGY SERVICES COMPANY
- An entity duly authorized to conduct business in the State of New York as an ESCO.
- NEW CONSUMERS
- Consumers of electricity that become eligible consumers after the effective date of the ESA, including those that opt in or move into municipality.
- PARTICIPATING CONSUMERS
- Eligible consumers enrolled in the Program, either because they are consumers who receive default service from the distribution utility as of the effective date and have not opted out, or are new consumers.
- PROGRAM ORGANIZER
- The group or entity responsible for initiating and organizing the CCA Program. The program organizer will typically secure buy-in from local governments and engage in preliminary outreach and education around CCA. The program organizer may be a non-profit organization, local government, or other third party. The program organizer and the CCA Administrator may be the same.
- PSC CCA ORDER
- The PSC's Order Authorizing Framework for Community Choice Aggregation Opt-Out Program, issued on April 21, 2016 in Case 14-M-0224, "Proceeding on Motion of the Commission to Enable Community Choice Aggregation Programs."
- PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION or PSC
- New York State Public Service Commission.
- ESCOs that procure electric power and natural gas for eligible consumers in connection with this chapter or, alternatively, generators of electricity and natural gas or other entities who procure and resell electricity or natural gas.
A Community Choice Aggregation (Energy) Program is hereby established by the municipality, whereby the municipality may implement a CCA Program to the full extent permitted by the PSC CCA Order and any subsequent PSC Orders approving the CCA Program Implementation Plan, as set forth more fully herein.
The municipality may act as aggregator or broker for the sale of electric supply, gas supply, or both, to eligible consumers and may enter into contracts with one or more suppliers and/or DER providers for energy supply and other services on behalf of eligible consumers.
The municipality may enter into agreements and contracts with other municipalities, nonprofits, consultants, and/or other third parties to:
Develop and implement the CCA Program;
Act as CCA Administrator and/or contract out the role of CCA Administrator to a third party, and/or
Develop offers of distributed energy resources (DER) products and services to participating consumers, including opportunities to participate in local renewable energy projects, shared solar, energy efficiency, microgrids, storage, demand response, energy management, and other innovative reforming the energy vision (REV) initiatives and objectives designed to optimize system benefits, target and address load pockets/profile within the CCA zone, and reduce costs for CCA customers.
The operation and ownership of the utility service shall remain with the distribution utility. The municipality's participation in a CCA Program constitutes neither the purchase of a public utility system, nor the furnishing of utility service. The municipality shall not take over any part of the electric or gas transmission or distribution system and will not furnish any type of utility service, but will instead negotiate with suppliers and/or DER providers on behalf of participating consumers.
Participating consumers will be charged a CCA Program subscription fee which may include (but not necessarily be limited to): the ESCO supply charge; a DER subscription charge (if applicable); and the administration fee described in § 66-8 herein. This subscription fee will appear on the participating consumers' bill from the distribution utility.
The Village of Wappingers Falls, New York, either acting on its own or through the CCA Administrator, is authorized to prepare and submit a Community Choice Aggregation Implementation Plan to the New York Public Service Commission for approval of a CCA Program, as outlined in the PSC CCA Order. Such an Implementation Plan will include final details of the CCA Program as outlined therein.
All consumers within the municipality, including residential and nonresidential, regardless of size, shall be eligible to participate in the CCA Program; provided, however, that participation in DER projects may depend on DER project availability and may be restricted by distribution utility service class.
All consumers that are members of Electric SC 1 Residential Service, SC 2 General Service; and Gas SC 1 Residence Rate, SC 2 Commercial and Industrial Rate may be enrolled on an opt-out basis except for consumers that are already taking service from an ESCO, that have placed a freeze or block on their account, or for whom inclusion in the CCA Program will interfere with a choice the customer has already made to take service pursuant to a special rate. Those consumers may be enrolled on an opt-in basis. The definitive rules with respect to enrollment of eligible consumers will be set forth in the Implementation Plan described in § 66-3F herein.
New consumers shall be enrolled on an opt-out basis.
An opt-out letter, printed on municipal letterhead, shall be mailed to eligible consumers at least 30 days prior to customer enrollment. The opt-out letter shall include information on the CCA Program and the contract signed with the selected ESCO and/or DER provider(s) including specific details on rates, services, contract term, cancellation fee, and methods for opting-out of the CCA Program. The letter shall explain that consumers that do not opt-out will be enrolled in the CCA Program under the contract terms and that information on those consumers, including energy usage data and APP status, will be provided to the ESCO and/or the DER providers. The opt-out letter shall also explain that the CCA Administrator will be authorized to enroll Participating consumers in DER projects and communicate such enrollment to the Distribution utility under relevant PSC-approved rules and tariffs so that participating consumers may receive applicable billing credits from the distribution utility.
All consumers shall have the option to opt-out of the CCA Program at any time without penalty.
Termination fees shall not be charged to consumers that cancel their CCA service as a result of moving out of the premises served.
Participating consumers shall be provided customer service including a toll-free telephone number available during normal business hours (9:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday) to resolve concerns, answer questions, and transact business with respect to the CCA Program.
The municipality may request aggregated data and customer specific data from the distribution utility; provided, however, that the request for customer specific data is limited to only those eligible consumers who did not opt-out once the initial opt-out period has closed.
Customer specific data shall be protected in a manner compliant with, collectively, all national, state and local laws, regulations or other government standards relating to the protection of information that identifies or can be used to identify an individual that apply with respect to the municipality or its representative's processing of confidential utility information; the utility's internal requirements and procedures relating to the protection of information that identifies or can be used to identify an individual that apply with respect to the municipality or its representative's processing of confidential utility information; and the PSC CCA Order and PSC rules, regulations and guidelines relating to confidential data.
The municipality must enter into a data security agreement with the distribution utility for the purpose of protecting customer data.
The municipality may collect, or cause to be collected, funds from customer payments to pay for administrative costs associated with running the CCA Program.
Annual reports shall be filed with the Board of Trustees of the municipality by March 31 of each year and cover the previous calendar year.
Annual reports shall include, at a minimum: number of consumers served; number of consumers canceling during the year; number of complaints received; commodity prices paid; value-added services provided during the year (e.g., installation of DER or other clean energy services); and administrative costs collected. The first report shall also include the number of consumers who opted-out in response to the initial opt-out letter or letters.
If a CCA supply contract will expire less than one year following the filing of the annual report, the report must identify current plans for soliciting a new contract, negotiating an extension, or ending the CCA Program.