WPCNR THE SUNDAY BAILEY. News & Comment By John F. Bailey. July 17, 2022:
Silence is what we get when the money of the citizens is the spoils up for grabs in this state.
Not a peep has been heard from our “representatives” in Albany, the “leaders” of towns in which we live, in Washington Halls of Congress where they “represent us” about what may be the apparent end of Sustainable Westchester-Westchester Power the New York State solution to combat climate change.
Power companies are big blue elephants walking across the poker table of high stakes energy supply and by a highly interesting series of cost increases and direct mail campaign pricing Sustainable Westchester out of the energy business.
I am stunned at this ripping us off again because the ESCOS and Con Ed are big and the Governor, our State Senators, our State Assemblyman, our County Executives and our Mayors and Town Supervisors have not gotten on the phones to Con Ed on television and chewed them out or launched show cause orders to stop this obvious anti-competitive strategy. Who hatched this strategy? Did legislators know about it? Did Governor Hochul know about it?
That is also what we are getting from Sustainable Westchester,too.
The representatives of Sustainable Westchester I used to speak to on their operations are apparently no longer available.
Sustainable has turned over their customers to Con Edison beginning July 1.
So now my electric rate will pay the average rate right now of 9 cents a kilowatt hour for 800 kw of Con Ed electricity in July, about $16 more and if with the hot weather I go up to 850 kwhs of electricity, I will pay $20 a month more. However the delivery charge will go up, too. Not a lot of money, the damage is long term and possibly irrepairable.
There is no guarantee the rates won’t go up more with the Con Ed juice.
I wanted to ask Sustainable if they are preparing a lawsuit against this being priced out of the market because of “rising costs.”
This is outrageous. Demand for their services (ESCO Power) has not gone down. How about the ESCOS cutting their profit margin rather than rising costs to keep it intact?
Sustainable Westchester is the organization residents of White Plains have been paying 7.48 cents a kilowatt hour (this year’s rate) for 6 years for green energy based power.
Coincidentally, Con Edison has been attempting to lure customers away from Sustainable Westchester since last fall (in the last year of the current Sustainable Contract.
More revolutionary about Sustainable Westchester is their successful ability to sign up 28 cities and towns in Westchester for their program which uses aggregated pooling of purchasing power of towns and cities to lower energy costs and stabilize them for all residents of those communities at the same rate a month for two years.
I love the low green rate.
The power companies hate it.
The purchasing power Sustainable Westchester wields or (used to wield) in Westchester in one of the nation’s largest electricity markets has hurt power companies especially the big ones in the revenue tanker.
Simultaneously, the program has seen green energy sources supply (at last look) 30% of the power to the New York Grid, in 6 years! If this continued another 6 years the source of green energy could grow to more than half the source of electricity in the state.
The traditional coal and natural gas Electric Supply Companies, are going to be hurting and have to supply the dirty states still functioning on mostly dirty energy sources.
Sustainable Westchester in a letter sent to leaders including Mr. Paul Feiner, announced three weeks ago, they were “pausing” because their Electrical Supply Companies have on mass apparently all their energy costs of supply power green or dirty sources had gone up.
The prices they ESCOS were offering Sustainable Westchester for the new 2-year contract did not, Sustainable said in their letter to leaders enable Sustainable deliver a feasible green rate or traditional mix of dirty sources with green power that Sustainable could maintain for two years.
No leader, no agency, no State Senator or Assemblyperson, or Governor Kathy Hochul have jumped on this blatant Standard Oil robber baron techniques of manipulating suppliers who all coincidently despite different customer bases, different supply demands, different revenues and expenses, are all paying the same for energy costs to make the electricity.
What? Can you believe this? You can’t make this stuff up?
Apparently our representatives do.
No senate assembly hearings have been suggested.
No congressional hearings called for.
No Public Service Commission reaction.
At least this deserves “concern” on the part of Governor Hochul, State Senators Andrea Stewart Cousins and Shelley Meyer.
Wake up and smell the coffee once.
The future of the planet is at stake and Sustainable Westchester has contributed much to achieve progress in cleaning up greenhouse gases in a short period of time.
As a public service, I’d like to refresh, honorable representatives what the Sherman Antitrust act says:
The Sherman Antitrust Act
This Act outlaws all contracts, combinations, and conspiracies that unreasonably restrain interstate and foreign trade. This includes agreements among competitors to fix prices, rig bids, and allocate customers, which are punishable as criminal felonies.
The Sherman Act also makes it a crime to monopolize any part of interstate commerce. An unlawful monopoly exists when one firm controls the market for a product or service, and it has obtained that market power, not because its product or service is superior to others, but by suppressing competition with anticompetitive conduct.
The Act, however, is not violated simply when one firm’s vigorous competition and lower prices take sales from its less efficient competitors; in that case, competition is working properly.
Where is the New York State Attorney General Letitia James on this one.
Where is the Department of Justice? The New York State Federal Prosecutor should look into this blatant, aggressive raising of prices on mass massively to purchase of power beyond their reach. John D Rockefeller used just this technique resulting in the growth of Standard Oil from 1870 to 1902, so much that his company was broken up by the “Trust-Buster,” Teddy Roosevelt.
The power of the big dollars Sustainable controls to purchase their energy supply from Electric Supply Companies (ESCOS is the acronym masking of the power industry) promote building up solar, wind and water power, and combine aggregate spending power of towns and villages to build a statewide purchasing power to lower energy costs and stabilize them for the people who pay the bill.
Since last fall Con Edison has mailed millions of New York area customers this mailing—solidly behind clean energy. The pitch says you can switch to clean energy with Con Edison through their new electricity producer, Clean Choice Energy. I have received this mailing about 4 times, so it must be successful in wooing customers from the Sustain Westchester choice.
Combined with this new announcement of the Sustainable Westchester pausing and turn over their customers to Con Ed!
As any detective will tell you there is no such thing as a coincidence in a favorable result to an interested party or parties that benefit from the result.
The legislators and leaders of this state, with one exception, Paul Feiner of Greenburgh, have
- Averted their eyes,
- Suspended their press staffs not so much as issuing a handwringing statement
- What might appear to us as a subtle bigger effort to end aggregate combining of purchasing power to lower the costs of electricity and encourage clean green energy of solar, wind and water driven power does not raise an eyebrow, a voice?
The objective might be overall appears to be to control the spread of the green sources and make money from them themselves and in the process, rake back the revenue they have lost to Sustainable Westchester the last 6 years, and prevent customers from paying less for electricity.
That is not in our interest, the payer. Not in the public interest.
It shows you where your representatives are.
Not in your corner.
They are in Power interests corner.
In the last three weeks we learned through Mr. Feiner telling us about it: the “pause,”or is it an outright as foraging herd of big blue elephants walks across the state power grid poker table with muddy feet, sending us back to electric monopoly and free reign over the supply costs through the ruthless strategies of Standard Oil of the 1870s: price controls, price fixing, and iron-handed tactics against small upstart competitive oil companies, and secret deals with railroads to enforce his interests.
I waited two weeks before I wrote this, waiting for more than one elected official other than Mr. Feiner to assure us this is not the end of Sustainable Westchester and the program will continue in the state.