Kingston Community Choice Aggregation (CCA)

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The City of Kingston is partnering with local nonprofit Mid-Hudson Energy Transition (MHET) and PowerMarket on a community choice aggregation (CCA) program called Kingston Community Energy (KCE).


What is CCA?

Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is a statewide program that allows cities and towns to join together to negotiate lower electricity rates for more renewable electricity. Under CCA, the city is able to purchase electricity on behalf of its residents and businesses and select a cleaner electricity supply mix than what Central Hudson offers. Central Hudson continues to deliver that energy over the existing power lines and your billing and quality of service remain the same.


How Kingston’s CCA Works

  1. Power supply: The CCA buys electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar, and hydropower and supplies that electricity at a fixed rate. By fixing the electricity rate, CCA participants are protected against changes in Central Hudson’s electricity prices. These prices can increase wildly over the course of a year and unpredictable energy costs can leave households unable to pay their bills. Kingston Community Energy will prevent this kind of financial strain while contributing to city and statewide sustainability goals.

  2. Power delivery: Since Central Hudson owns the energy grid’s infrastructure, they will continue to deliver your electricity and the quality and reliability of this service will remain the same.

  3. Enrollment: All eligible participants in Kingston are automatically enrolled in the program, but they have the option to opt-out and continue receiving their electricity supply from Central Hudson. Participants who choose to opt-out can do so at any time without any penalties or fees.

  4. Billing: Participants will still receive a monthly utility bill from Central Hudson. As always, the bill will include two separate charges: one for the electricity supply (now provided by the CCA) and another for Central Hudson’s delivery charges.

  5. Customer service: Central Hudson will continue to handle customer service and power outages for all participants, regardless of whether the participant is enrolled in the CCA program or not.


The Benefits

  1. Price stability: The CCA sets a fixed rate for the renewable energy supply, providing participants with a constant price for their electricity and protection against energy market fluctuations.

  2. Renewable energy: Participants purchase electricity generated from renewable sources, which reduces their carbon footprint and promotes a more sustainable energy system.

  3. Community control: The CCA allows the community to have a greater say in where their energy comes from and how it is produced, promoting local control and decision-making.

  4. Municipal Funding Support: Joining a CCA is one of the highest-point items on New York State’s Climate Smart Communities and Clean Energy Communities challenges for municipalities, which positions the City of Kingston to receive increased state funding.

  5. Resilience: By investing in renewable energy and promoting sustainability, the CCA builds a more resilient community that is better equipped to handle the challenges of climate change.


What is Community Solar?

Community Solar is a program that allows you to participate in the CCA, support a local solar project, and to get a guaranteed discount on your electricity bill!


Instead of installing a renewable energy project on your property, you subscribe to a solar farm in our area. It costs you nothing to join, you save money on electricity, and you support new solar energy projects. Enjoy the benefits of solar energy without the hassle.


But how does it work?

The community solar project generates utility bill credits based on the amount of electricity produced by the solar panels. As a subscriber, a portion of those solar credits are applied directly to your monthly electric bill, giving you a discount on your electricity bill each month.


How can I sign up?

Kingston Community Energy will be locating community solar projects and making them available to residents on a rolling basis. You can always check www.kingstoncommunityenergy.org/solar to see if there are any projects available at this time.

Our partners at PowerMarket are always here to help. If you have any questions, you can email them at kingston@powermarket.io or call (845) 382-3941.


How Our CCA is Different

There are hundreds of community choice aggregation programs across the United States, but Kingston Community Energy is leading a new type of CCA. We believe that we must create a new path for CCAs in New York State and center our CCA on the principles of energy democracy and energy justice.


It is important to us that KCE has deep community participation and is guided by community knowledge to make sure that clean energy resources in Kingston are distributed equitably. We prioritize real community engagement, starting first with our Community Council.


Community Council

The KCE Community Council engages historically marginalized communities in the planning and execution of KCE’s programs. The Council is composed of community leaders and residents who provide valuable input and feedback to ensure that KCE’s programs are responsive to community needs and priorities.

Kingston Community Energy is now accepting nominations for its Community Council on a rolling basis – to find out more about the role, click here. To learn more about the Community Council, click here.

Meeting Kingston’s Climate Goals

Kingston’s 2030 Climate Action Plan recommended that the City pursue a Community Choice Aggregation program. While typical CCAs focus only on electricity supply, the City selected Mid-Hudson Energy Transition to serve as the City's CCA administrator through a competitive process to administer an advanced CCA model. Once Mid-Hudson Energy Transition is approved as a CCA Administrator by the Public Service Commission, it will go beyond the typical CCA 1.0 model that focuses only on electricity supply in favor of a comprehensive CCA 3.0 model.


Going Beyond Electricity


New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation statewide greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) report shows that 13% of statewide greenhouse gas emissions are from electricity, but 32% are caused by buildings and 28% by transportation.

To truly make our city sustainable, Kingston Community Energy will expand the conventional CCA model to go beyond renewable electricity purchasing and will include programs that address the emissions from Kingston’s buildings through a city-wide Healthy and Resilient Homes program, support for electric vehicles and charging stations, and innovative financing options to ensure that nobody is left behind.


Healthy and Resilient Homes

Starting in Fall 2023, Mid-Hudson Energy Transition will lead a Healthy & Resilient Homes pilot project in Kingston, which will make an immediate difference in people’s lives, while collecting much-needed information to improve and standardize the program’s future energy efficiency and electrification projects. The pilot project will start with a comprehensive audit of homes to measure energy efficiency, air quality, deferred maintenance and other factors. After the audit, a small number of viable homes will be selected for retrofitting. The retrofitting process involves remediation, weatherization, energy efficiency, and pre-electrification (like electrical wiring upgrades) and will be done with no cost to tenants.


This pilot project is expected to identify effective and affordable measures that can be used to improve low-income households’ living conditions. The project will provide valuable insights into the retrofitting process, including cost, time, displacement during construction, and how to combine incentives. The research project will also measure improvements in air quality, decreased energy bills, increased comfort, and knowledge among homeowners. These outcomes will guide future efforts to improve low-income households’ living conditions.

If you are interested in participating in this pilot, please reach out to the Project Manager, Elisabeth Balachova, at elisabeth@mid-hudson.energy.

After the pilot, Mid-Hudson Energy Transition will expand the pilot to be a citywide Healthy & Resilient Homes Program through Kingston Community Energy. MHET will provide project management support and financing for homeowners, landlords, renters, and small businesses to get fossil fuels out of their buildings and reduce environmental toxins (like lead, mold, and asbestos). This makes homes healthier, more comfortable, and less costly to operate. As always, our program prioritizes disadvantaged communities and aims to provide access to healthy living conditions and affordable energy for all residents.



Mid-Hudson Energy Equity Fund

Mid-Hudson Energy Transition is also designing a community investment fund, which will provide critical financial support to homeowners, property owners, and renters to complete the upgrades needed in their homes.


MHET has created a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Mid-Hudson Energy Equity Fund, to administer the Fund. The Fund will combine philanthropic donations, impact investors, and non-accredited investors, along with federal, state, and local funding to provide extremely low-interest loans and small grants to low-income individuals for healthy and resilient home improvements.


The Energy Equity Fund is being designed to:

  • Provide very low interest loans and small grants to residents to finance much-needed energy efficiency, remediation, maintenance, weatherization, and electrification work in their homes.

  • Provide an opportunity for non-accredited investors, everyday people, to contribute money to the fund and receive a return on their investment, while supporting a local renewable energy transition.


The Fund is expected to launch by the end of 2023.


If you are interested in future opportunities to invest in this fund, please reach out to Simon Strauss at Simon@mid-hudson.energy.



Timeline


Further Resources

NYSERDA CCA guidance documents: https://tinyurl.com/yxv54sjb

(External link)

Communities for Local Power CCA webpage: https://citizensforlocalpower.org/cca

(External link)


The City of Kingston achieved Bronze Climate Smart Community certification in 2014, and now Silver certification in 2018, both the highest levels achieved by any municipality in New York State. Kingston has completed a variety of adaptation and mitigation strategies to achieve this level, including appointing a commission, conducting a 2010 Greenhouse Gas Inventory (External link)

(External link)

and creating a Climate Action Plan (External link)

(External link)

The Climate Action Plan outlines strategies and actions for the city to take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sets a goal for energy use reduction of 20% by 2020. To take the City’s commitment even further, in 2017, the City adopted Resolution #179 of 2017: Resolution of the Common Council of the City of Kingston, NY Committing to 100% Clean Energy by 2050 and Continuing Support of the Principles of the Paris Agreement. In 2021, the City completed the second Climate Action Plan, further advancing sustainability and energy goals out to 2030.

On April 10, 2018, the City of Kingston, New York joined the 100% Committed campaign (External link)

(External link)

in partnership with The Climate Reality Project: Hudson Valley and Catskills NY Chapter. Through this commitment, the City pledged to help our community shift to 100 percent renewable electricity.

The City of Kingston worked with Cadmus and NREL to map its way to 100% renewables. The complete roadmap can be found here.

The City of Kingston and MHET held two informational sessions on December 7, 2022. Watch the meeting below:


Kingston Community Energy - Webinar público en español (7 de diciembre de 2022)

See Julie Noble's comprehensive presentation to the Common Council:

Hear Mayor Noble and Julie Noble discuss CCA on Radio Kingston here


The City of Kingston is partnering with local nonprofit Mid-Hudson Energy Transition (MHET) and PowerMarket on a community choice aggregation (CCA) program called Kingston Community Energy (KCE).


What is CCA?

Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is a statewide program that allows cities and towns to join together to negotiate lower electricity rates for more renewable electricity. Under CCA, the city is able to purchase electricity on behalf of its residents and businesses and select a cleaner electricity supply mix than what Central Hudson offers. Central Hudson continues to deliver that energy over the existing power lines and your billing and quality of service remain the same.


How Kingston’s CCA Works

  1. Power supply: The CCA buys electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar, and hydropower and supplies that electricity at a fixed rate. By fixing the electricity rate, CCA participants are protected against changes in Central Hudson’s electricity prices. These prices can increase wildly over the course of a year and unpredictable energy costs can leave households unable to pay their bills. Kingston Community Energy will prevent this kind of financial strain while contributing to city and statewide sustainability goals.

  2. Power delivery: Since Central Hudson owns the energy grid’s infrastructure, they will continue to deliver your electricity and the quality and reliability of this service will remain the same.

  3. Enrollment: All eligible participants in Kingston are automatically enrolled in the program, but they have the option to opt-out and continue receiving their electricity supply from Central Hudson. Participants who choose to opt-out can do so at any time without any penalties or fees.

  4. Billing: Participants will still receive a monthly utility bill from Central Hudson. As always, the bill will include two separate charges: one for the electricity supply (now provided by the CCA) and another for Central Hudson’s delivery charges.

  5. Customer service: Central Hudson will continue to handle customer service and power outages for all participants, regardless of whether the participant is enrolled in the CCA program or not.


The Benefits

  1. Price stability: The CCA sets a fixed rate for the renewable energy supply, providing participants with a constant price for their electricity and protection against energy market fluctuations.

  2. Renewable energy: Participants purchase electricity generated from renewable sources, which reduces their carbon footprint and promotes a more sustainable energy system.

  3. Community control: The CCA allows the community to have a greater say in where their energy comes from and how it is produced, promoting local control and decision-making.

  4. Municipal Funding Support: Joining a CCA is one of the highest-point items on New York State’s Climate Smart Communities and Clean Energy Communities challenges for municipalities, which positions the City of Kingston to receive increased state funding.

  5. Resilience: By investing in renewable energy and promoting sustainability, the CCA builds a more resilient community that is better equipped to handle the challenges of climate change.


What is Community Solar?

Community Solar is a program that allows you to participate in the CCA, support a local solar project, and to get a guaranteed discount on your electricity bill!


Instead of installing a renewable energy project on your property, you subscribe to a solar farm in our area. It costs you nothing to join, you save money on electricity, and you support new solar energy projects. Enjoy the benefits of solar energy without the hassle.


But how does it work?

The community solar project generates utility bill credits based on the amount of electricity produced by the solar panels. As a subscriber, a portion of those solar credits are applied directly to your monthly electric bill, giving you a discount on your electricity bill each month.


How can I sign up?

Kingston Community Energy will be locating community solar projects and making them available to residents on a rolling basis. You can always check www.kingstoncommunityenergy.org/solar to see if there are any projects available at this time.

Our partners at PowerMarket are always here to help. If you have any questions, you can email them at kingston@powermarket.io or call (845) 382-3941.


How Our CCA is Different

There are hundreds of community choice aggregation programs across the United States, but Kingston Community Energy is leading a new type of CCA. We believe that we must create a new path for CCAs in New York State and center our CCA on the principles of energy democracy and energy justice.


It is important to us that KCE has deep community participation and is guided by community knowledge to make sure that clean energy resources in Kingston are distributed equitably. We prioritize real community engagement, starting first with our Community Council.


Community Council

The KCE Community Council engages historically marginalized communities in the planning and execution of KCE’s programs. The Council is composed of community leaders and residents who provide valuable input and feedback to ensure that KCE’s programs are responsive to community needs and priorities.

Kingston Community Energy is now accepting nominations for its Community Council on a rolling basis – to find out more about the role, click here. To learn more about the Community Council, click here.

Meeting Kingston’s Climate Goals

Kingston’s 2030 Climate Action Plan recommended that the City pursue a Community Choice Aggregation program. While typical CCAs focus only on electricity supply, the City selected Mid-Hudson Energy Transition to serve as the City's CCA administrator through a competitive process to administer an advanced CCA model. Once Mid-Hudson Energy Transition is approved as a CCA Administrator by the Public Service Commission, it will go beyond the typical CCA 1.0 model that focuses only on electricity supply in favor of a comprehensive CCA 3.0 model.


Going Beyond Electricity


New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation statewide greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) report shows that 13% of statewide greenhouse gas emissions are from electricity, but 32% are caused by buildings and 28% by transportation.

To truly make our city sustainable, Kingston Community Energy will expand the conventional CCA model to go beyond renewable electricity purchasing and will include programs that address the emissions from Kingston’s buildings through a city-wide Healthy and Resilient Homes program, support for electric vehicles and charging stations, and innovative financing options to ensure that nobody is left behind.


Healthy and Resilient Homes

Starting in Fall 2023, Mid-Hudson Energy Transition will lead a Healthy & Resilient Homes pilot project in Kingston, which will make an immediate difference in people’s lives, while collecting much-needed information to improve and standardize the program’s future energy efficiency and electrification projects. The pilot project will start with a comprehensive audit of homes to measure energy efficiency, air quality, deferred maintenance and other factors. After the audit, a small number of viable homes will be selected for retrofitting. The retrofitting process involves remediation, weatherization, energy efficiency, and pre-electrification (like electrical wiring upgrades) and will be done with no cost to tenants.


This pilot project is expected to identify effective and affordable measures that can be used to improve low-income households’ living conditions. The project will provide valuable insights into the retrofitting process, including cost, time, displacement during construction, and how to combine incentives. The research project will also measure improvements in air quality, decreased energy bills, increased comfort, and knowledge among homeowners. These outcomes will guide future efforts to improve low-income households’ living conditions.

If you are interested in participating in this pilot, please reach out to the Project Manager, Elisabeth Balachova, at elisabeth@mid-hudson.energy.

After the pilot, Mid-Hudson Energy Transition will expand the pilot to be a citywide Healthy & Resilient Homes Program through Kingston Community Energy. MHET will provide project management support and financing for homeowners, landlords, renters, and small businesses to get fossil fuels out of their buildings and reduce environmental toxins (like lead, mold, and asbestos). This makes homes healthier, more comfortable, and less costly to operate. As always, our program prioritizes disadvantaged communities and aims to provide access to healthy living conditions and affordable energy for all residents.



Mid-Hudson Energy Equity Fund

Mid-Hudson Energy Transition is also designing a community investment fund, which will provide critical financial support to homeowners, property owners, and renters to complete the upgrades needed in their homes.


MHET has created a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Mid-Hudson Energy Equity Fund, to administer the Fund. The Fund will combine philanthropic donations, impact investors, and non-accredited investors, along with federal, state, and local funding to provide extremely low-interest loans and small grants to low-income individuals for healthy and resilient home improvements.


The Energy Equity Fund is being designed to:

  • Provide very low interest loans and small grants to residents to finance much-needed energy efficiency, remediation, maintenance, weatherization, and electrification work in their homes.

  • Provide an opportunity for non-accredited investors, everyday people, to contribute money to the fund and receive a return on their investment, while supporting a local renewable energy transition.


The Fund is expected to launch by the end of 2023.


If you are interested in future opportunities to invest in this fund, please reach out to Simon Strauss at Simon@mid-hudson.energy.



Timeline


Further Resources

NYSERDA CCA guidance documents: https://tinyurl.com/yxv54sjb

(External link)

Communities for Local Power CCA webpage: https://citizensforlocalpower.org/cca

(External link)


The City of Kingston achieved Bronze Climate Smart Community certification in 2014, and now Silver certification in 2018, both the highest levels achieved by any municipality in New York State. Kingston has completed a variety of adaptation and mitigation strategies to achieve this level, including appointing a commission, conducting a 2010 Greenhouse Gas Inventory (External link)

(External link)

and creating a Climate Action Plan (External link)

(External link)

The Climate Action Plan outlines strategies and actions for the city to take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sets a goal for energy use reduction of 20% by 2020. To take the City’s commitment even further, in 2017, the City adopted Resolution #179 of 2017: Resolution of the Common Council of the City of Kingston, NY Committing to 100% Clean Energy by 2050 and Continuing Support of the Principles of the Paris Agreement. In 2021, the City completed the second Climate Action Plan, further advancing sustainability and energy goals out to 2030.

On April 10, 2018, the City of Kingston, New York joined the 100% Committed campaign (External link)

(External link)

in partnership with The Climate Reality Project: Hudson Valley and Catskills NY Chapter. Through this commitment, the City pledged to help our community shift to 100 percent renewable electricity.

The City of Kingston worked with Cadmus and NREL to map its way to 100% renewables. The complete roadmap can be found here.

The City of Kingston and MHET held two informational sessions on December 7, 2022. Watch the meeting below:


Kingston Community Energy - Webinar público en español (7 de diciembre de 2022)

See Julie Noble's comprehensive presentation to the Common Council:

Hear Mayor Noble and Julie Noble discuss CCA on Radio Kingston here


Ask us anything!

Please leave your questions about the Kingston Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) here and we'll get back to you with an answer. 

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    Will people in the Town of Ulster be able to take advantage of this? I live on Ulster Landing Road, about a mile in from Robertis off rt 32

    sdean7855 asked over 1 year ago

    At this time, Kingston Community Energy is only available to City of Kingston residents, living in Kingston proper. The program is replicable though, and so we hope other communities take our lead.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Hi, I'm about to move to the town of Ulster and was wondering if Ulster is included in this great project. Thanks!

    Mike asked about 1 year ago

    At this time, Kingston Community Energy is only available to City of Kingston residents, living in Kingston proper. The program is replicable though, and so we hope other communities take our lead. 

Page last updated: 20 Dec 2023, 03:53 PM