October 05, 2020

Six Rockland County Communities Launch Innovative Renewable Energy and Cost Cutting Initiative


ROCKLAND COUNTY, NY (October 5, 2020)—Six Rockland County municipalities announced that they are launching a cost-cutting energy program to provide their residents and small businesses with more affordable, locally-sourced renewable energy. The initiative will be offered through Rockland Community Power (RCP), a collaborative program that enables residents and small businesses to purchase renewable energy at a fixed cost that is lower than they have paid historically for standard (non-renewable) electricity supply. The six participating communities—the Town of Clarkstown, Village of Haverstraw, Village of Nyack, Town of Orangetown, Village of South Nyack, and Village of Upper Nyack—are working in partnership with Joule Community Power (Joule) to offer the program that is scheduled to launch on November 1, 2020. Joule will serve as the Program Administrator.

RCP empowers the participating communities, though community choice aggregation (CCA or community choice), to leverage the collective buying power of their residents and small businesses at large enough scale to dictate the terms of how they buy electricity. Five of the six communities chose to default residents to a 100% renewable electricity product at a fixed and lower price that is less than they otherwise would pay for their standard supply, which is typically a mix of energy derived from fossil fuel and nuclear sources. Orangetown chose to maximize savings for residents by defaulting them to the RCP standard option at a still lower fixed price. Orangetown residents, however, have the option to cede a portion of their potential savings by switching to the 100% renewable option. Residents and businesses in the other communities may also change their supply option or opt out of the program. 

CCA is promoted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) as a priority climate action. These programs have cut costs for consumers and provide stronger consumer protection.  The RCP community choice program is under the oversight of the New York State Public Service Commission.  

The chart below compares the Orange & Rockland Utilities (ORU) standard rate to the RCP two-year fixed rates for both renewable and standard supply. Both RCP rates (renewable and non-renewable) are lower than the average weighted monthly variable rate paid by ORU customers in the previous 24-month period (August 2018-July 2020).

Renewable Rockland Community Power Rates vs. Average ORU Rate (per kWh)
Customer Class: Residential and Small Commercial 
Average ORU Standard Supply Rate: $0.07169
Rockland Community Power 100% Renewable Fixed Rate: $0.07167 
 Rockland Community Power Standard Supply Fixed Rate: $0.06515

“This program is the result of a competitive procurement process,” said Mike Gordon, Joule’s Chief Executive Officer. “The partnership of communities selected Constellation NewEnergy as their default supplier because they were offered a unique combination of competitive pricing, consumer protection, and 100% renewable power.”  

Upper Nyack Mayor Karen Tarapata commented, “Upper Nyack is proud to have been the first community to sign on with Rockland Community Power. With big issues like climate change, we can feel we have no agency. CCA is a simple way to make a measurable difference in the carbon footprint of our community.”

"Community choice aggregation provides a rare opportunity to achieve wins for everyone,” stated Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann. By participating in this program, Clarkstown residents will have the ability to save green by paying less for electricity, while also going green by purchasing their energy from clean, renewable, sources."

Orangetown Supervisor Teresa Kenny said, “Community choice aggregation saves money, provides clean energy, and protects the consumer from unfair contracts and hidden fees.  This public benefit is a win-win-win for the residents and businesses of Orangetown.”

Eligible residents and small businesses will be automatically enrolled in the RCP community choice program but may opt out, at any time, with no penalty. ORU remains responsible for delivery, repair, and billing services for all participants. Prior to program launch, eligible ORU customers will receive a letter from their local government--with a return address of Constellation NewEnergy—that will include information on how to opt out of the program. To learn more, please visit rocklandcommunitypower.com. 


Rockland Community Power is also offering community solar, to those who want to further support locally-sourced clean energy and lower their annual electricity bill even more. By subscribing to a local solar farm, utility customers are guaranteed to save up to an additional 10% annually on electricity. The guaranteed savings, received in the form of utility bill credits, are derived from NY State incentives for clean energy generation. Unlike the community choice program, those wishing to participate must enroll. Community solar is open to most ORU residential and small business customers regardless of whether they participate in the CCA. By participating in both the RCP community choice and community solar programs, subscribers can benefit from both the CCA's lower, fixed energy supply rates and guaranteed savings for solar generation. Learn more or enroll at www.rocklandcommunitypower/solar

About Rockland Community Power
Rockland Community Power is a community choice aggregation (CCA) program—comprising communities in Rockland County, NY—that enables participants to pay less for renewable energy than they have historically paid for traditional electricity supply.  The participating towns and villages have banded together to pool local electricity demand in order to leverage the collective buying power of their residents and small businesses in effort to secure more favorable energy supply rates, protect consumers, and support the generation of clean energy in NY State. The participating communities are the Towns of Clarkstown and Orangetown and the villages of Haverstraw, Nyack, South Nyack, and Upper Nyack. The program was formed in partnership with Joule Community Power. For more information, please visit rocklandcommunitypower.com.

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. With no upfront cost to a municipality or its residents, Joule’s first-of-kind, integrated Community Power program helps municipalities and consumers (1) save money by gaining leverage to procure less expensive electricity for residents and businesses, (2) make money by creating new revenue opportunities through participation in energy markets, and (3) go green by gaining local control to opt for clean and renewable generation sources. Joule's distinctive expertise in designing and implementing new consumer-protective energy supply contracts was instrumental in the creation of New York State’s first community choice aggregation (CCA) energy program.  Joule is the only company in NY State offering CCA administrative services with a Public Service Commission-approved implementation plan that integrates community solar 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 is driving new regulation and encouraging the NY State Public Service Commission to rapidly advance innovative solutions. Having created the blueprint to guide communities through a smooth and empowering decision process, Joule aims to scale its Community Power model across NY State and beyond. Joule also offers capacity tag management services to businesses wishing to reduce their electricity costs by strategically managing their energy consumption. Joule Community Power is a division of Joule Assets. To learn more, visit joulecommunitypower.com