In December 2020, the Gardiner Town Board authorized the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Katonah-based Joule Community Power to serve as the town’s administrator to implement a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program. The program is intended to enable Gardiner residents and small businesses to purchase greener electricity from renewable sources by pooling their purchasing power.
A virtual public information presentation on the CCA, followed by a question-and-answer session, will be hosted by Hudson Valley Community Power this Saturday, February 20 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Those wishing to attend can find more information about the event at www.facebook.com/events/1107292199722782, and link to the meeting at https://tinyurl.com/gardiner20feb.
Among the issues likely to be raised at this presentation is the question of whether or not the electricity supplied under this new program will indeed be cheaper, as advertised, as well as cleaner. Misha Fredericks, a member of the Climate Smart Gardiner Task Force and recent appointee to the town’s Environmental Conservation Commission, has expressed concern over the fact that participation in the program will be “opt-out” rather than “opt-in.” Fredericks contends that participants in other towns served by Hudson Valley Community Power, including New Paltz, pay a higher rate per kilowatt-hour for their electricity than they did previously. “Many people hard-hit by this pandemic are going to be dire straits as another financial burden is cast upon them,” she told Hudson Valley One.
Based in Beacon, Hudson Valley Community Power currently serves roughly 25,000 households and small businesses in ten communities with 100 percent New York State-produced renewable power. The current supply contract expires on June 30, 2021. Participating communities will go out for bid for a new CCA rate this spring – to be joined this time by Gardiner, with an expected program launch date of July 1, 2021.