Letter: Community Choice

A few years ago, I worked with other community members and the Philipstown Town Board to help form the Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) that moved two-thirds of our homes and small businesses to 100 percent renewable energy in 2019. Recently, a few neighbors reached out to me after they received a confusing letter from Central Hudson informing them that Columbia Utilities would be their new electricity supplier.

For every household in Philipstown, there is an electricity supplier and an electricity distributor. Central Hudson continues to play the role of distributor and remains responsible for maintaining electrical lines, restoring power during outages and electricity delivery and service fees. This past May, Philipstown joined with nine other municipalities and selected Columbia Utilities as the new CCA electricity supplier because they provided the lowest three-year fixed rates for both a 100 percent New York state renewable energy option and a more standard polluting fossil fuels option.

If any Philipstown resident prefers to have Central Hudson select their electricity supplier for them, they can leave the CCA program at any time without cost by calling the Hudson Valley Community Power CCA at 845-859-9099 or submitting an online form at hudsonvalleycommunitypower.com.

I’m proud that our Town Board showed continued environmental leadership by selecting the renewable energy option, which between 2017 and 2019 helped our community avoid nearly 15,000 tons of carbon emissions — equivalent to taking 3,200 cars off the road for a year.

But I also hope that the three-year fixed electricity rate saves community members money over the life of the contract as energy prices rise and helps folks living on tight budgets know what to expect when their electricity bill arrives. And if any resident doesn’t want to be a part of the CCA, they can leave — or join — at any time. It’s your choice.

Jason Angell, Garrison

One thought on “Letter: Community Choice

  1. Going green has its great points, but when you have to opt out [of paying a more expensive “renewable” rate for electricity] — that’s not so good for us seniors.

    Many seniors I’ve talked to had never heard of the change they were put into. I did not receive a letter, nor did many of the seniors I asked at the Philipstown Friendship Center. Or they may have gotten one and thrown it out, thinking it was junk mail. The only information I saw was on Facebook, which is not right.