The community-choice aggregation program in New York is perhaps poorly understood because of what it’s called, but anyone who participates locally is enjoying electricity at less than half of the market rate, that’s also wholly sourced from renewable sources within the state. That’s the best possible situation for consumers in an environment that includes skyrocketing prices and increasing climate impacts from burning fossil fuels for fuel, including natural gas. However, the leaders of Columbia Utilities evidently no longer think this is a good deal for their company, because they have filed paperwork to pull out of the three-year agreement.
Residents of New Paltz and a number of other municipalities would see their rates more than double, and their electricity coming from all manner of sources, potentially even including coal-fired power plants. Local leaders are steamed by this news and are drafting letters to send to the attorney general and the chair of the state’s Public Service Commission to investigate this move, alleging shenanigans.
Mayor Tim Rogers said that this “feels harmful in so many ways” when this situation was discussed at the Village Board meeting on May 25. “It’s really disturbing.”