Energy purchase agreement between municipalities, residents and small businesses being explored by local governments in the Capital Region

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TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- A public hearing is scheduled Thursday in Troy for residents and small businesses to learn how they could save money on electricity and get greater access to renewable energy sources. It’s a program gaining more ground in New York as municipalities try to find ways to help offset rising electricity costs and growing demand for renewable energy.

New York is one of eight states where local municipalities can participate in Community Choice Aggregation (CCA). A program that allows them to pass legislation after a series of public hearings, to purchase energy for their residents and businesses at a lower rate. It also allows them the flexibility to determine what percentage they want to come from renewable sources, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

On their website, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) said the CCA program works by creating leverage for local governments to negotiate lower prices. “CCA allows local governments to work together through a shared purchasing model to put out for bid the total amount of electricity and/or natural gas being purchased by eligible customers within the jurisdictional boundaries of participating municipalities,” NYSERDA said.

The Municipal Electric and Gas Alliance (MEGA) is a non-profit agency that helps local governments in New York set up CCA programs. They said the CCA program is appealing because of the ability to lock in rates, preventing fluctuating costs. They said they have already helped several local governments in Upstate New York control costs and save money.

MEGA helps four regional programs in the state, including the Capital Region Aggregation. Thirteen municipalities in the Capital Region Aggregation are currently gauging interest in the CCA program from residents and businesses including Albany, Troy, Guilderland and Glens Falls.

The Southern Tier Aggregation, which includes 20 local governments west of the Capital Region, was able to lock in electric rates that began last July. A mix of both renewable and traditional energy sources has a fixed rate of $0.05092/kWh, a rate containing a higher level of energy from renewable sources has a fixed rate of $0.0542 until June 2021.

Troy’s CCA public hearing meetings will be held at the City Council Chambers and are scheduled for Feb. 20 at 5:30 p.m., Feb. 25 at 5:30 p.m. and Mar. 5 at 6:30 p.m. The cities of Albany and Schenectady also have public hearing meetings scheduled throughout Feb. and Mar.

Some municipalities like New Scotland held public hearings at the end of last year. For CCA information for municipalities participating in the Capital Region Aggregation click on the links below.

Capital Region Aggregation participating municipalities

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