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Geneva takes action with Finger Lakes Community Choice program

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  • Staff Report 

The Town of Geneva is taking climate action to the next level by securing a new electricity contract through the Finger Lakes Community Choice program. This contract, the Town’s third through the program, provides residents and small businesses with fixed-rate electricity supply and access to renewable energy options.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Joule Community Power, a division of Joule Assets, Inc., continues to be the program administrator for Finger Lakes Community Choice, a community choice aggregation (CCA) program that serves as a buying group for local communities interested in enhancing the quality and quantity of electricity offerings. By working together, these communities can dictate the terms of supply contracts and choose renewable electricity options.

Since its launch in July 2019, the Finger Lakes Community Choice program has saved customers over $58,000 on electricity costs compared to the utility’s variable rate for supply. Furthermore, the program’s fixed-rate electricity supply has protected customers from unpredictable bills, particularly during 2022’s record-high price volatility in the energy market.

In addition, Town of Geneva program participants have helped avoid 1,470 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions by supporting renewable electricity resources, which is equivalent to the emissions from consuming 165,400 gallons of gasoline.

The new 18-month electricity supply contract secured through the Finger Lakes Community Choice program will begin this July, offering residents and small businesses the security of fixed prices and 50% NY State renewable fixed-rate electricity supply. The remaining 50% is matched by certificates sourced from U.S. renewable electricity resources. The electricity supply will be provided by Direct Energy Services, LLC, a leading competitive energy provider.

Town Supervisor Mark Venuti expressed satisfaction with the new contract. “The town is pleased to be able to provide these options to NYSEG’s ever-changing rate. We have three fixed rates to choose from, or the choice to opt-out entirely and stay with NYSEG. Last year we were consistently below NYSEG’s rate and supported the growth of renewable energy production to boot,” he said.

Eligible residents and businesses will be automatically enrolled in the default option of 50% renewable energy, but may withdraw or switch supply options without incurring fees or penalties. In mid-May, eligible customers will receive a letter from their municipality detailing how to opt out. Those who opt out will receive basic electricity supply service from NYSEG at the variable utility rate. NYSEG remains responsible for delivery, repair services, and billing, regardless of program participation.

Jessica Stromback, CEO of Joule Assets, commended the Town of Geneva’s local leadership. “CCA allows residents to be represented as a group by their municipal leadership – using their group purchasing power to provide at scale access to renewable energy through protective contracts. At Joule, we are proud to be able to support local leadership in the Town of Geneva once again, making the decisions and taking the steps that drive change,” she said.