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August 25, 2020
Last week, a local Facebook page contained a post with many comments regarding Sustainable Westchester’s Community Choice Aggregation program called Westchester Power. As Mamaroneck Town Supervisor and the Co-Chair of the nonprofit organization, Sustainable Westchester, I thought I should clarify some points.
When the Town, along with a majority of other Westchester County municipalities, enrolled in Westchester Power in 2016, it was not for the promise of the lowest rates. The primary benefits are 1) a fixed rate, so residents know the cost of their energy for the life of the contract rather than weathering the fluctuations of utility pricing, and 2) providing renewable energy by sourcing the energy through "REC’s" (renewal energy credits). This creates demand for renewable energy and helps the Town’s efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels and combat climate change.
The pricing in the last two Westchester Power contracts was based on the previous 12 month average of utility rates. This year, the Con Ed rates plummeted causing the Westchester Power rates to look high. Indeed, the average household did pay several dollars more per month this year than they would have with Con Ed. However, residents have saved money on the cost of electricity over the course of the three-year Westchester Power program. If you only look at the 12 months that Con Ed shows on its bills, you will not see this balancing fact.
Utility rates are expected to increase dramatically starting this fall. The Town just signed a Memorandum of Agreement to participate in the program renewal for one year if Westchester Power receives a bid of 7.6 cents per KWH. Over the past three years, the Westchester Power program has resulted in impressive environmental benefits for the Town including mitigating 35,000 metric tons of CO2 which is equivalent to removing 7,500 cars off the road for one year or planting 58,000 tree seedlings grown for 10 years!
The Town of Mamaroneck, along with almost every municipality in the County, is a member of Sustainable Westchester to take advantage of programs like Westchester Power to become more sustainable and try to save money. The Westchester Power program allows residents to opt out at any time without a penalty, either through the website https://sustainablewestchester.org/wp/ or by calling the Sustainable Westchester office at (914) 242-4725. The Sustainable Westchester office is located in Mount Kisco and is happy to take your calls for help or answer questions. You can easily opt back into the program at any time as well.
You are always welcome to be a part of this community effort, Westchester Power