Mid-Hudson Energy Transition (MHET) is partnering with PowerMarket and the City of Kingston on a community choice aggregation (CCA) program called Kingston Community Energy.
“What is community choice aggregation?”
Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is a program that allows cities and towns to pool together the buying power of their residents and small businesses to purchase cleaner, affordable electricity on their behalf. Under CCA, your local government can select a cleaner energy supply mix than what the utility offers and your utility continues to deliver that energy over the existing power lines.
The Kingston Community Energy CCA program will allow the city to purchase electricity on behalf of its residents and businesses from a variety of sources, including renewable energy sources like wind and solar, but most likely through New York State hydropower.
How Kingston’s CCA Works
- Power supply: The CCA procures electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar, and hydropower. The electricity is still delivered by Central Hudson, and the quality and reliability of the electricity remains the same.
- Enrollment: All eligible participants in Kingston are automatically enrolled in the program, but they have the option to opt-out and continue receiving energy from the default utility. Participants who choose to opt-out can do so at any time without penalty.
- Billing: Participants will still receive a monthly utility bill from Central Hudson. As always, the bill will include two separate charges: one for the electricity supply (now provided by the CCA) and another for Central Hudson’s delivery charges.
- Customer service: The local utility will continue to handle customer service and power outages for all participants, regardless of whether they are enrolled in the CCA program or not.
- Price stability: The CCA locks in a fixed price for the renewable energy supply, providing participants with price stability and protection against energy market fluctuations.
- Renewable energy: Participants purchase electricity generated from renewable sources, which reduces their carbon footprint and helps to promote a more sustainable energy system.
- Community control: The CCA allows the community to have a greater say in where their energy comes from and how it is produced, promoting local control and decision-making.
- Municipal Funding Support: Joining a CCA is one of the highest-point items on New York State’s Climate Smart Communities and Clean Energy Communities challenges for municipalities, which positions the City of Kingston to receive increased state funding.
- Resilience: By investing in renewable energy and promoting sustainability, the CCA helps to build a more resilient community that is better equipped to handle the challenges of climate change.
In summary, the Kingston Community Energy CCA is a program that allows participants to collectively purchase electricity from renewable sources at a competitive price. The program promotes sustainability, community resilience, and local control over energy decision-making.
Meeting Kingston’s Climate Goals
Kingston’s 2030 Climate Action Plan recommended that the City pursue a Community Choice Aggregation program, which led the City to select Mid-Hudson Energy Transition as their CCA administrator through a competitive process.
How Our CCA is Different
We believe that we must forge a new path for CCAs in New York State and center our CCA on the principles of energy democracy and energy justice. We prioritize real community engagement, starting first with our community council.
The KCE Community Council engages historically marginalized communities in the planning and execution of KCE’s programs. The Council is composed of community leaders and residents who provide valuable input and feedback to ensure that KCE’s programs are responsive to community needs and priorities.
Going Beyond Electricity
Currently, there are three types of CCA programs (see table below).
Mid-Hudson Energy Transition is working towards the first Advanced CCA 3.0 model in New York State. The Kingston Community Energy CCA has enhancements that go well beyond a renewable energy supply contract, including city-wide building decarbonization and resiliency support through energy efficiency programs, electrification of transportation, and innovating finance mechanisms to ensure that nobody is left behind.