WPCNR POWER NEWS. By John F. Bailey. JULY 13, 2016:
It was hot, humid, steamy last week and no where did we see any calls for conserving electricity by energy suppliers.
This is unfortunate because we are coming up on the highest demand day anniversary, July 29. If we exceed the demand set that day, then your Sustainable Westchester rates will go up.
Thursday evening on my program on White Plains Television, PEOPLE TO BE HEARD, (8 PM THURSDAY, 7:30 PM SATURDAY, televised countywide on Verizon FIOS Channel 45 and in White Plains, and viewable right now on the internet at www.whiteplainsweek.com),
I interview Mike Gordon the CEO of Sustainable Westchester, the consortium that signed up 24 cities and towns, including White Plains to advance the cause of sustainable, green energy creation. On the program he explains how his program eventually hopes to lower electric rates by creating more solar energy facilities in the 24 towns.
Gordon called for a strong public relations campaign this month by electricity suppliers and delivery companies to plea with the public to cut back on their use of electricity to lower demand in the peak summer months to enable setting a lower lock-in electric rate for Sustainable Westchester when it completes its pilot program in a year and a half.
So far that public relations campaign is nowhere to be seen — not even a flier in my Con Edison Solutions bill.
June was the first month of the Sustainable Westchester new program in effect in White Plains for those who went with the Sustainable “all green solution.” My Electricity Charge for “All green energy” went up 11.5% over Sustainable’s Basic Rate
The result was, as WPCNR and WHITE PLAINS WEEK pointed out was that despite the fact that I used significantly less electricity, my bill from Con Ed Solutions went up, because the White Plains green solution rate was 7.76 cents per kilowatt hour compared to 7.3 cents per Kilowatt hour for those who opted for the basic supply rate. If you chose to remain with Con Edison or your Esco you could do so.
The upshot is I was charged $74.36 for my electricity through Con Edison Solutions, a Con Ed “separate and distinct” facility for my “green energy.”
Had I opted for the Basic Rate of 7.3 cents offered by Sustainable, I would have paid $66.71, compared to the 7.6 cent per kwh rate I took by taking the green option, $74.36.
This means that going for the White Plains choice to give me the all green option automatically, raised my electric supply charge 11.5% for the electricity. The Delivery Charge from Con Edison for less electricity than I used in June of 2015, was $132.60. So we have the rather annoying situation of delivery costing more than the cost of the energy itself, which did not go down.
On the program coming up, PEOPLE TO BE HEARD, Mr. Gordon explains that the next setting of the Sustainable Westchester Rates after the two year pilot program, will depend on this year’s highest demand day of the year which came on July 29 of last year.
Gordon said that it was up to the public to conserve on electricity which he hoped would be reinforced by a public relations campaign on behalf of electricity suppliers and power delivery. He also remarks that funding for the solar panels his organization plans to build could be financed by a public offering, the taxpayer, or the electricity user, or grants. He gives you the details on the program. But, at present the funding is not clear where it is coming from. Around $2 Billion is needed to build the panels Mr. Gordon envisions.
The electricity you get though at “Green Rates,” may not be green-sourced.
Another intriguing factor is that though I and White Plainsians and other citizens of the 24 communities in the program who have opted for the “All Green Option,” the energy you get is not guaranteed to be from green sources.
Richard Rathvon, Vice President of Retail Commodity Services for Con Ed Solutions told WPCNR the electricity is supplied off the grid and that solar, wind and hydro sources will definitely contribute to the grid, but I the user cannot assured of receiving exclusively green-sourced energy off the grid. Rathvon said it was not possible to give a percentage of what part was of my electricity was green generated. He said that Con Ed Solutions had contracted with solar, wind and hydro sources and traditionally created dirty electricity sources to guarantee the Sustainable Westchester rates for two years.
Gordon on the program PEOPLE TO BE HEARD, advises that aggressive public awareness campaigns are needed to lower consumption to lower Sustainable Westchester Rates after the two trial period ending in June 2018. White Plains started with Sustainable Westchester June 1.