January 31, 2020

Joule is Helping Decrease Electricity Costs with Renewable Energy for 25,000 New York State Households

KATONAH, N.Y., Jan. 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Joule Assets, via Joule Community Power, rolled out community choice aggregation (CCA) programs to more than 25,000 utility account holders in seven communities in New York State.  The six towns that banded together to form Hudson Valley Community Power and the Town of Geneva, NY, through the Finger Lakes Community Choice aggregation, have all selected 100% renewable energy—at a fixed rate that is lower than the average utility rate for the previous year—as the default energy supply for their communities. Joule serves as program administrator for both aggregations and partners with local program managers to provide local program support, education, and outreach in the communities.

In 2020, Joule expects three additional towns, with 6,500 homes, to join the Hudson Valley Community Power aggregation. Joule also plans to launch four new aggregations: Gateway Community Power, Monroe Community Power, Rockland Community Power, and an aggregation in Long Island, NY. Currently, with 16 communities under contract, Joule is looking forward to administrating CCA programs for more than 190,000 total households in 25 communities by this time next year.

Joule Community Power Director Glenn Weinberg said, "Communities throughout New York State are leading the way in the clean energy transition. Joule's programs help them get the most out of the powerful tools available to them to get the best deal for their residents and to drive local development of renewable energy."

Roctricity's Susan Hughes-Smith explains, "We have been working to bring CCA to the Rochester area since 2016. Working with Joule perfectly aligns with our mission of advocating for communities to purchase 100% renewable electricity that is procured at a price that is lower than consumers paid, on average, the previous year. We are pleased to serve as the local program manager for Finger Lakes Community Choice and, in the not too distant future, Monroe Community Power and Gateway Community Power."

Jeff Domanski of Hudson Valley Energy, the nonprofit that serves as the local program manager for the Hudson Valley Community Power and Rockland Community Power programs, is excited about the benefits of the programs led by Joule.  "It's been great to talk to so many people in our partner communities about how these programs provide a win-win-win opportunity that helps so many people get what they want: supporting renewable electricity generation with no additional cost and protection from bad actors in the energy marketplace. We're able to increase knowledge, help build trust, and deliver benefits."

Maximizing CCA's Impact with Solar
In 2019, offering yet another way to reduce both electricity costs and carbon gas emissions, Joule launched Geneva Community Power, a community solar (or "local solar") pilot program for NYSEG customers in NY's Finger Lakes region and offered local solar to Central Hudson customers in New York Hudson's Valley.

Unlike other community solar programs, Joule's solar offering is designed to reward communities that support renewable generation by helping fund future local sustainability efforts. For the Geneva Community Power pilot program, funding of the "sustainability grant" was based upon reaching a threshold of 400 community solar subscribers. Town of Geneva opted to spend the money on projects that protect and preserve the quality of water in Seneca Lake. In the Hudson Valley, funds are allocated to communities based on actual enrollment numbers. By year-end 2019, more than 500 utility customers in the Hudson Valley, who consume more than 3,700 KWhs of electricity annually, subscribed to community solar, earning their local communities upwards of $25,000 for future sustainability efforts. The City of Beacon elected to put the money towards local school projects. Marbletown intends to use the funds for local walk and bike projects. Philipstown will allocate the money toward a program what will reduce the leakage of greenhouse gases from air conditioners, refrigerators, and other appliances. When possible, the municipalities may use the sustainability grants to seek State matching funds in order to increase the amount of money they can put towards their local projects.

Mike Gordon, CEO of Joule Assets, explains, "Joule has established a community solar program that gives back to the community and enables subscribers who support clean energy to spend less on electricity. Community solar participants save approximately 10% annually on electricity by supporting the buildout of renewable power plants. Joule supports communities that support renewable generation by funding, based on solar program enrollment, locally chosen sustainability efforts."

Joule Assets Managing Director Jessica Stromback states, "Joule is the only company in New York State offering CCA administrative services with a Public Service Commission-approved implementation plan that automatically integrates community solar projects. These two programs—community choice and community solar—work together to amplify the benefits of each program individually. Both CCA and local solar are designed to lower your electricity bill and help combat climate change. By offering solar through the CCAs we administer, Joule can maximize the reach and therefore, the impact of these benefits."

Why CCA?

CCA empowers participating communities to leverage the collective buying power of residents and small businesses at large enough scale to create the buying power to negotiate better terms. Through CCA, communities can secure more favorable supply rates and designate renewable generation sources. CCA also provides increased consumer protection while providing residents supply options and participation flexibility. While eligible residents are automatically enrolled in the program, anyone can opt out without penalty prior to launch or at any time during the contract term.

Why Solar?

Community solar programs allow utility customers (including members of community choice aggregation programs) to support local solar power and save on annual electricity costs without having to install solar panels. Those who sign up will lower their electricity bills while supporting renewable energy generation and, in Joule's model, while raising funds towards local sustainability projects. When used in conjunction with CCA, participants can augment their electricity bill savings and combat climate change on multiple fronts, thereby maximizing the impact of their participation.

Please visit joulecommunitypower.com to learn more about how we empower communities to access cleaner and cheaper energy on their own terms.

2019 Review 

CCA:  The two aggregations launched with Joule during 2019 are detailed in the table below:

Aggregation: Hudson Valley Community Power
Participating Communities: City of Beacon,  Village of Cold Spring,  Town of Fishkill,  Town of Marbletown,  Town of Philipstown,  City of Poughkeepsie 
Local Partner:
Hudson Valley Energy
Size (in # of HHs): 25,000

Finger Lakes Community Choice
Participating Communities: Town of Geneva
Local Partner:
Size (in # of HHs): 1,000

Community solar:  Joule's local solar programs to utility customers in the two regions where CCA programs were launched in 2019 have resulted in communities raising funds for additional sustainability-focused projects, of their own choosing, in their own communities.

Region: Hudson Valley
Local Utility:
Central Hudson
Program Sponsor, Solar Subscribers, $$ Raised for Community Sustainability Projects:
City of Beacon, 183, $9,150
Village of Cold Spring, 41, $2,050
Town of Fishkill, 2, $100
Town of Marbletown, 117, $5,850
Town of Philipstown, 130, $6,500
City of Poughkeepsie, 19, $950

Region: Town of Geneva
Local Utility:
Program Sponsor, Solar Subscribers, $$ Raised for Community Sustainability Projects:
Town of Geneva, ~400, $25,000

2020 Outlook
In order to maximize the benefits of each program, Joule expects to offer community solar in the following communities, where the company is rolling out new CCA to new communities and/or launching new CCA programs.

Gateway Community Power
Participating Community: Village of Victor
Size (in # of HHs):

Aggregation: Hudson Valley Community Power
Participating Communities: Town of New Paltz, Village of New Paltz, Town of Red Hook
Size (in # of HHs): 6,500

Aggregation: Monroe Community Power
Participating Communities: Town of Brighton,  Town of Irondequoit,  Town of Pittsford,  Village of Pittsford
Size (in # of HHs): 60,000

Aggregation: Rockland Community Power
Participating Communities: Town of Clarkstown,  Village of Haverstraw,  Town of Orangetown,  Village of Nyack,  Village of South Nyack,  Village of Upper Nyack 
Size (in # of HHs): 55,000

Aggregation: TBD-Hudson Valley
Participating Community: Town of Clinton
Size (in # of HHs): 1,500

Aggregation: TBD-Long Island
Participating Community: Village of Southampton
Size (in # of HHs): 40,000

Aggregation: TBD-Rochester area
Participating Communities: Village of Brockport,  Village of Lima
Size (in # of HHs): 3,250

About Joule Community Power
Joule Community Power (Joule) works with municipalities and local partners to empower communities and facilitate their goals of providing residents and businesses with cleaner and cheaper energy. Joule principals were responsible for implementing New York State's first Community Choice Aggregation Program (CCA)—a program that enables communities to aggregate local energy demand in order to: 1) save money—gain leverage to procure less expensive electricity for residents and businesses, 2) make money—create new revenue opportunities by participating in energy markets, and 3) go green—gain local control to opt for clean and renewable generation sources. Joule is the only company in New York State offering CCA administrative services with a Public Service Commission-approved implementation plan that integrates local renewable energy projects, and only Joule has the expertise, relationships, and experience to effectively design, implement, and manage such a program. Joule's innovative renewable energy strategy in New York is driving new regulation and encouraging the Public Service Commission to rapidly advance innovative solutions. Joule Community Power is a division of Joule Assets. Learn more at joulecommunitypower.com.

About Joule Assets
Joule Assets is a corporation focused on market representation, products and services in the areas of clean energy, efficiency, and demand management. Joule Community Power is the division of Joule Assets that partners with municipalities to develop community-scale clean energy solutions, empowering communities to set and achieve aggressive clean energy and energy reduction targets. This includes CCA Administration services, Community Distributed Generation integration, community-scale demand management, and home efficiency services.  For this reason, program materials refer primarily to Joule Community Power as the CCA Administrator. When appropriate, we have made it clear in program materials that Joule Community Power is a division of Joule Assets. Joule Community Power is not a distinct entity from or subsidiary of Joule Assets, and is staffed by Joule Assets employees and contractors. Joule Community Power is operated out of the Joule Assets corporate office, located in Katonah, NY.