With their initial community choice electricity supply contract expiring June 30th, nine Hudson Valley Community Power (HVCP) participating municipalities chose to continue providing their residents access to affordable, locally-sourced 100% renewable energy. In July 2019, the Cities of Beacon and Poughkeepsie, Towns of Marbletown and Philipstown, and the Village of Cold Spring began providing residents and small businesses clean electricity as the default option at a fixed rate for two years. Soon after launch, four additional communities—the Town of Clinton, Town of New Paltz, Village of New Paltz, and Town of Red Hook—joined HVCP. We expect Town of Gardiner, Village of Nelsonville, Town of Rhinebeck, and Town of Saugerties to join the program under the terms of the second electricity supply contract effective July 2021, bringing the number of participating communities to thirteen. Joule will continue to serve as the Program Administrator.
HVCP, a community choice aggregation (CCA) program, enables participating communities to leverage the collective buying power of residents and small businesses at large enough scale to dictate the terms of how they buy energy. The empowered municipalities negotiate for renewable electricity at fixed rates that are priced lower than otherwise available. CCA is promoted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) as a priory climate action. CCA programs, like HVCP, promote renewable energy generation, cut costs for consumers, and provide consumer protection.
The inaugural two-year supply contract will be in effect through June 2021. Over the first eighteen months, the more than 24,000 participants receiving 100% renewable electricity contributed to the avoidance of more than 218,600 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of amount of carbon sequestered by 276,844 acres of forest.
New Supply Contract
The new contract will run from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2024. Nine municipalities chose 100% renewable electricity from Columbia Utilities as their default energy option. Eight of nine communities will also offer a fixed rate standard supply option. Eligible residents and businesses will be automatically enrolled, but may withdraw, at any time, without incurring fees or penalties. Prior to July 1st, eligible Central Hudson customers will receive a letter from their local government that includes information on how to opt out. Those who opt out will receive basic electricity supply service from Central Hudson at the variable utility rate. Regardless of program participation, Central Hudson remains responsible for delivery, repair service, and billing.
Hudson Valley Community Power Rates
effective July 2021
Customer Class: Residential
HVCP 100% NYS Renewable Fixed Rate: $0.06573 per kWh
HVCP Standard Fixed Rate $0.05968 per kWh
Customer Class: Small Commercial
HVCP 100% NYS Renewable Fixed Rate: $0.07112 per kWh
HVCP Standard Fixed Rate $0.06215 per kWh
“This program is the result of a competitive procurement process,” said Joule Founder Mike Gordon. “The partnership of communities selected Columbia Utilities as their default supplier because they were offered a unique combination of competitive pricing, consumer protection, and 100% renewable power.”
“Marbletown is excited to continue participating in the CCA,” said Supervisor Rich Parete.” Our residents are enthusiastic about the program and are proud to support clean energy.”
Village of New Paltz Mayor Tim Rogers commented, “In New York State, we’re working hard to move towards carbon-free electricity. CCAs that purchase 100% renewable energy are an important piece of this energy solution.”
Neil Bettez, Supervisor of the Town of New Paltz said of the CCA renewal, “I’m happy the Town has once again decided to take advantage of this competitive pricing for our residents, and we’re looking forward to continuing to work with Joule to promote the use of renewable energy for our community.”
“The Town is a supporter of helping increase the use of renewable electricity generation without impacting our scenic and rural countryside while benefitting the world,” stated Clinton Supervisor Raymon Oberly. “It is a no-brainer as fossil fuel and nuclear electric generation facilities are being taken offline now and in the future.”
“We are excited to have this partnership that will enable us to continue driving the business forward and support our sustainable growth. We look forward to developing strong results,” said Columbia Utilities CEO Robert Palmese.
Maximizing Savings with Solar
Earlier this year, Marbletown was the first Hudson Valley municipality to pass a resolution to approve community choice solar as a way to include the guaranteed savings community solar delivers as a default energy option. The eight other HVCP communities soon followed suit. Just as Joule solicited competitive bids from electricity suppliers on behalf of the participating municipalities, Joule issued, in March, a Request for Information (RFI) from solar project developers. The new community solar offering is expected to be available later this year.
Tom Konrad, Chairman of the Marbletown Environmental Conservation Commission stated, “Marbletown is thrilled to be extending an expanding our partnership with HVCP. This partnership is a key enabler of Marbletown’s groundbreaking 100% Renewable Action Plan for cost effectively transitioning Marbletown’s residents, businesses, and government to 100% renewable energy through energy efficiency and electrification of buildings and transportation. We’re particularly excited about the community choice solar program that will bring the cost savings of solar to everyone in Marbletown, not just those residents who can afford to put solar on our roofs. Programs like this are what make the transition to renewable energy the right thing to do for economic as well as environmental justice.