Four Monroe County municipalities today announced plans to collaborate to explore the joint procurement of energy on behalf of their respective communities. This paves the way for a 100-percent renewable default energy product for residential and small business utility customers in those municipalities.

The towns of Brighton, Pittsford and Irondequoit, as well as the Village of Pittsford, will execute a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to allow for the joint selection of a third-party administrator to secure a 100-percent renewable clean energy product. Should the towns and village move forward, residents would remain RG&E customers – the major change being the source of energy supply provided by the utility.

This initiative is made possible through the Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Program, authorized by the New York State Public Service Commission. CCA allows participating local governments to procure an energy supply on behalf of its utility customers, often at a lower cost. Under the State program, any resident wishing to opt out of the CCA program may do so at any time and continue to receive the default utility supply.

“As we look to procure a cleaner energy future, local governments have been provided with an opportunity to affect real change on the type of energy we use,” said Irondequoit Town Supervisor Dave Seeley. “The Town of Irondequoit is happy to participate with our neighboring municipalities and I am hopeful our collective effort will ultimately produce a less expensive product that is 100% clean.”

“The Town of Brighton is committed to making our community more sustainable. Community Choice Aggregation will give all of our residents the opportunity to use 100% renewable energy in their homes and small businesses at an attractive price,” said Brighton Town Supervisor Bill Moehle. “This will dramatically reduce our carbon footprint and enhance sustainability as we work together with neighboring communities to support renewable energy sources.”

“Community Choice Aggregation leverages combined buying power,” said Pittsford Town Supervisor Bill Smith. “Joining with other municipalities puts us in a stronger position to be able to provide residents with energy from 100% renewable sources, at a cost lower than the regular RG&E rate.”

CCA is a relatively new concept in New York, with a successful demonstration program in Westchester County paving the way for a statewide initiative. Since its launch in 2016, Westchester Power – the first CCA program in New York - has saved ratepayers nearly $10 million, with most municipalities choosing a 100% green supply.

"New York’s clean energy future and the future of CCAs are deeply linked, and this milestone in advancing such an innovative energy model ought to be deeply applauded. The Genesee-Finger Lakes region continues to showcase local and national leadership in rapidly decarbonizing its economy to mitigate the environmental impacts of fossil fuels and become more resilient,” said Matt Halladay, Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council. “The Towns of Brighton, Irondequoit and Pittsford have been champions for NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Community program, encouraging low-carbon behaviors through their leadership. By forging the path on CCA, these leaders are paving the way for future communities to reduce energy costs, expand choice, and invigorate local climate action."

The four municipalities will next solicit request for proposals to CCA administrators certified by the State, and then make a selection based on a determination of which is best able to meet the goals of the program and work best on behalf of the partnering communities. The MOU allows any of the municipalities to part ways if they determine it is not in their best interest to move forward.

This new partnership represents one of the largest collaborative CCA efforts in New York State outside of Westchester County, encompassing potentially over 50,000 utility customers.