Suffolk County lawmakers will look in the New Year into creating a digital platform to help town and village governments join and operate pacts to lower energy costs for consumers.
Community Choice Aggregation, known as CCA, allows for local governments to seek competitive bids for energy so consumers wouldn’t have to settle for the price set by a utility company.
Gordian Raacke, the executive director of Renewable Energy Long Island, said the CCA could also require all or some portion of electricity and gas to come from renewable sources.
“It goes beyond just supplying power. CCAs can purchase power from energy suppliers just like the utilities do today,” Raacke said. “But CCAs could also run local energy efficiency programs and offer bulk purchase programs for solar panels and electric vehicles and things like that.”
Raacke was chair of a county committee that finished a report this month. It had recommendations for how town- and village-run CCA programs could prioritize clean energy to drive down costs, while contributing less to climate change. Only 5% of energy distributed in Suffolk County comes from renewable sources.
Under state law enacted in 2016, the county isn’t allowed to set up a CCA, but can offer direction to towns and villages. Only four Long Island towns already have CCA programs in the works: Southampton, East Hampton, Brookhaven and Hempstead.
Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming sponsored legislation that formed the county task force to examine CCAs. She said the report will help … [more]