For the first time in six years of supplying electricity to customers in participating municipalities in the Con Edison utility service territory, the Westchester Power Community Energy Program’s electricity supply will experience a temporary pause. It is important to note that electricity service will not be interrupted in any way.
The rapid rise in energy prices, spurred by the war in Ukraine, has made securing long-term contracts more difficult. Program administrator, Sustainable Westchester, a nonprofit consortium of municipal governments, continues to seek the best economic value for its 100% renewable and standard supply options.
During the upcoming pause, electricity supply customers will be returned to standard Con Edison supply with their first meter read after June 30, 2022. It should be noted that this does not affect the City of Yonkers as they are on their own Westchester Power contract through November 2023. It also does not affect participating municipalities in the NYSEG utility service territory.
Dan Welsh, Westchester Power Program Director, said “Extremely volatile energy market prices have seen electricity rates rise at unprecedented levels, moving beyond our original contract targets, so we are pausing the electricity supply program service to reposition ourselves in the most advantageous way possible under these conditions. While we do not currently know when electricity supply services will restart, when they do, participants will receive a notification letter containing the new supply rates, associated term dates, and enrollment options. The opt-out structure of the Westchester Power electricity supply program makes it easy to resume your current supply choice when the program restarts – there will be no action needed on your part. In the interim, participants will be receiving notifications from Con Edison that they will be switched back into standard utility supply.”
“Sustainable Westchester’s Westchester Power program has demonstrated the value of a community-wide clean energy offering. Unfortunately, the global disruption in energy markets has affected our ability to execute a contract for continuous service of participating municipalities in the program in ConEd service territory, excluding Yonkers, which has a separate contract. We are taking this opportunity to consider how the program can be administered to still capture and provide the same benefits, but to allow for more nimble procurement, which is necessary in these volatile times. We understand that the pause in the program will cause uncertainty and stress for many participants and we are working diligently to restore the service to participating municipalities as soon as possible,” said Nina Orville, Sustainable Westchester’s Executive Director.
Looking forward to what to expect next, the following checklist will be helpful for residents and small businesses to navigate the coming changes:
- Effective July 1st, participants who receive either the 100% renewable or standard electricity supply offering through Westchester Power in the Con Edison utility territory will begin reverting to the default Con Edison electricity supply.
- There will be NO interruption of your electricity service.
- You will receive a mailing notice from Sustainable Westchester about this change in the coming week.
- You will then receive a notice from Con Edison confirming your switch to their electricity supply.
- You can find further information, including a copy of the Sustainable Westchester letter and the notification card from Con Edison, Westchester Power electricity supply offering participating municipalities, program FAQs, and current/historical rates at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The program, in its 6th year, currently provides the default electricity supply to approximately 92,000 residents in 24 municipalities within the Con Edison utility service area. Earlier this year, the City of Yonkers (in the ConEd utility service area) joined, but remains unaffected by this pause as it is on its own contract [as do residents in the NYSEG utility area, thereby they are unaffected].
The following Con Edison territory municipalities that participate in the program will be affected by this temporary electricity supply pause. Village of Ardsley Village, Town of Bedford (Con Edison service only), Village of Croton-on-Hudson, Village of Dobbs Ferry, Town of Greenburgh, Village of Hastings-on-Hudson, Village of Irvington, Village of Larchmont, Town and Village of Mamaroneck Village of Mount Kisco, Town of New Castle, City of New Rochelle City, Town and Village of Ossining, City of Peekskill, Village of Pelham, Village of Pleasantville, Village of Rye Brook, City of Rye, Village of Sleepy Hollow, Village of Tarrytown, Village of Tuckahoe, City of White Plains.
Residents who want further information are encouraged to visit sustainablewestchester.org/wp/conedterritory. If residents have specific questions, they are encouraged to email email@example.com or call 914-242-4725. In addition, Sustainable Westchester will be holding a series of Community Information Sessions the week of June 20th and 27th registration information can be found at sustainablewestchester.org/events or by visiting the link noted above for more information.
The Westchester Power electricity supply program, beyond offering fixed rates and cost control for residents, has made a significant environmental impact county-wide. The program has mitigated 1.1 million tons of CO2, equivalent to taking 239,000 cars off the road for one year. This municipally vetted program makes the benefits of renewable energy more easily accessible for residents and small businesses through its collective buying power, eliminating the need to sift through private Energy Services Companies.
In addition, the commitment of participating municipalities and their residents has enabled the program to lay the foundation for additional clean energy programs and initiatives including Community Solar, EnergySmart HOMES, and GridRewards residential demand response, which offer environmental benefits, energy and money savings for enrolled participants.