LOWERED GREEN RATE AVAILABLE TO BOTH RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL CUSTOMERS—LOCKED IN FOR 2 YEARS FOR WHITE PLAINS AND 23 OTHER WESTCHESTER CITIES & TOWNS
WPCNR THE POWER STORY & COMMON COUNCIL CHRONICLE-EXAMINER. November 5, 2018 UPDATED NOVEMBER 6 IN BOLD).:
Westchester Power/Sustainable Westchester reported to the Common Council Monday night that the consortium comprising 24 towns and cities, including White Plains that the competitive bidding has produced a lower green energy rate than they had anticipated: 7.96 cents per kilowatt hour.
The new green energy rates will be announced to White Plains residents and businesses in the next two weeks, which Mayor of White Plains Tom Roach said cut other offers of green power in half.
White Plains and the 23 towns in the Sustainable Westchester Consortium which pooled their purchasing power, had agreed to proceed with the Memorandum of Understanding two months agowhen Westchester Power told them they anticipated a rate of 8.26 cents per kilowatt hour.
Now that has been cut below 8 cents, and guaranteed for two years beginning January 1.
Jasmine Graham spokesperson for Westchester Power/ Sustainable Westchester told the council that savings for the average White Plains consumer the first two years of the program was $238 per residential customer. She said that White Plains alone had (through its participation in the program) had saved the equivalent of hydrocarbon emissions that would be achieved by taking 13,000 cars off the road for two years or the planting of 10,000 seedling trees over 10 years.
The program, Ms. Graham said would be sending out letters to White Plains residents this month currently in the program and as well as those not participating. Those not wanting to participate automatically in the program simply have to send a card (included in the mailing) to opt out of the program. However, if they should opt out, they give up the security of a fixed electric rate for 24 months.
Ms. Graham said that Constellation New Energy would again be the supplier of the green energy, which would be generated mostly by hydroelectric power generated in New York State by the national supplier, Brookfield. Graham said towns can still be added in to the consortium ongoing through the length of the contract.
Virginia Steinberg, of Sustainable Westchester told WPCNR (after the initial rates were presented in August), that representatives from two towns in the Westchester Power consortium and a climate change expert had assisted them in persuading suppliers to lower their bids resulting in the 7.959 cents per kilowatt hour rate for both residential and commercial customers.
She said the bid review team consisted of Town of Bedford Supervisor and Sustainable Westchester Vice Chairman, Chris Burdick, Town of Ossining Supervisor Dana Levenberg, who expressed concerns and why the suppliers needed to make savings more attractive to smaller towns (in the county) and the Director of the Pace University Climate Center, Karl Rabago. Rabago also holds positions in the energy industry, including Commissioner on the Texas Utility Commission.
“With commercial pricing set at the same rate as residential, this means small businesses in our program will see a 20% cut in their electricity supply costs come January,” Steinberg pointed out, quoting from a news release.
Steinberg noted to WPCNR via phone Tuesday morning that the new rate is equivalent to Con Edison rates from 5 years ago. Steinberg said the new rate is 2 cents lower than the original commercial rate originally estimated in August, and now lowered through negotiations to the present 7.959 cents. She pointed out the new rate is a great stabilizer for small businesses in towns and cities because power expenses can be counted on not to flucuate for two years and they can be using non emissions producing energy.
You may see Ms. Graham’s 7 minute presentation to the council by clicking on this video:
Afterwards, the Mayor entertained questions from the council that raised several key issues. You can see the 5 minute Q & A by clicking on this video.
The Common Council also asked four key questions of Ms. Graham which you can see by clicking on this video: