Commitment To Clean Energy

Since 2016, the Westchester Power Community Energy program has helped municipalities in Westchester County leverage the collective power of its residents to control costs and provide insurance against fluctuations in electricity supply through competitively priced and fixed-rate bulk purchasing, while also leading the transition to renewable energy in the State through Westchester Power’s 100% Renewable energy as the primary product subscription of most participants.

In 6 years of operation, Westchester residents and businesses have mitigated the emission of about 1,100,000 metric tons of CO2 through their decision to support renewable energy via Westchester Power. This is equivalent to taking roughly 293,000 cars off the road for one year.

Fast Facts

  • Effective July 1st, participants who receive either the 100% Renewable or Standard electricity supply offering through the Westchester Power in the Con Edison utility territory will begin reverting to the default Con Edison electricity supply. Your electricity WILL NOT be shut off.
  • This change DOES NOT APPLY to Yonkers residents.
  • You will receive a mailing notice from Sustainable Westchester about this change sometime in May.
  • On this page you will find information on the program background and explanation for this pause. You may reach out anytime with questions by email at: westchesterpower@sustainablewestchester.org.
  • Helpful links:

Upcoming Changes for Community Energy Program Participants

  • Thank you to all of our Westchester Power residential and small business participants in the Con Edison utility territory for making a commitment to renewable energy and contributing to a positive environmental impact.
  • Westchester Power is approaching the end of its current contract term for participants in the Con Edison service territory, on June 30th. At this time, the electricity supply offering will be put on a temporary pause. This means that starting on your first meter-read date on or after July 1st, you will revert to Con Edison’s supply of electricity. There will be no interruption in your electricity service.
  • Extremely volatile energy market prices have seen electricity rates rise at unprecedented levels, so we are intentionally pausing the program to position ourselves in the most advantageous way possible under these conditions.

What To Know and What You Can Do

As an affected participant of this pause, be advised that you will receive a notification in the mail from Sustainable Westchester in May, detailing the program pause and your subsequent transfer into Con Edison’s electricity supply.

We do not currently know when program services will restart. At such a time when services return, you will receive a re-enrollment letter informing you about the restart of the program with the new supply rates, associated term dates, and your enrollment options.

To remain in the program at your current supply choice when the program restarts, there is no action needed on your part. Participants will get confirmation of their default supply choice and rate in their re-enrollment letter, along with instructions on how to change supply or opt-out of the program before the restart goes into effect.

Note: If you elect to sign an agreement with an Energy Supply Company (ESCO) for the pause period, you will no longer be eligible for Westchester Power and will not be automatically re-enrolled.

Please return to this page for periodic updates on the program status and/or reach out to us at: westchesterpower@sustainablewestchester.org or January 2020 Community Center Presentation Video

Westchester Power Basics

  • It’s a program that allows local governments to procure electricity, gas, and other services on behalf of their residents and small businesses
  • This is only an electricity SUPPLY program. Participants are still customers of their utility company who continue to be responsible for energy distribution, infrastructure maintenance and billing of customers
  • Westchester Power hosts auctions among qualified Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) and awards supply contracts through this competitive bidding process
  • Enrollment is on an “opt-out” basis- you receive a notification letter with all the program details, and are enrolled unless you say you do not want to be. Participants can exit (or change supply option https://sustainablewestchester.org/wp/energy-choices/) at any time with no fee
  • By joining together through this shared service, communities maximize their leverage to secure competitive rates with energy suppliers and choose greener power sources
  • Westchester Power is a trailblazing program for NY State in bringing 100% renewable energy supply at scale to communities and leading the clean energy transition

Community Outreach

Keep an eye on this page for updates coming soon!

A Community
Energy Platform

The large scale of the program enables us to attract new opportunities for increased environmental impact and potential savings. These include:

Community Solar – You can help put more clean energy on the grid and save money at the same time by subscribing to a large solar farm through Sustainable Westchester’s Community Solar program. Currently, participation requires a separate signup process and a two bill system (your electric bill and a separate solar credits bill). NY State has required Con Ed and other utilities to include Community Solar on the electric bill, which means that the program will be able to deliver solar discount credits directly without a separate bill.

This has very exciting implications for our ability to engage and provide benefits to low income households.

Solar developers have taken particular interest and this should stimulate more projects in Westchester. Meanwhile, you can subscribe today and save up to 10% on your electric bill.

Demand Response – Previously available only to large commercial businesses, Sustainable Westchester has collaborated with a technology firm, Logical Buildings, to pilot demand response for residential customers. By cutting usage during a few peak hours of the year, Con Ed can avoid switching on the dirtiest “Peaker Plants”, and will pay you money for that. Learn more about the GridRewards program here.

Let’s Talk Clean Energy

Why clean energy? By now, everyone has heard of climate change, but it’s not always easy to make the connection to our daily lives. Our energy choices are, however, linked to many of the most serious challenges that we face these days, as well as the question of what kind of future we leave our children.

Most of our electricity is still generated by burning fossil fuels which release greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. This has contributed to our environment’s degradation, increasing temperatures and local effects such as more frequent higher intensity storms and changes in seasonal patterns. Here’s a short video about the greenhouse effect which is responsible for this problem.

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Solar, wind, and hydropower are emissions-free sources of energy. New York State has an aggressive plan to switch over to these clean energy sources and away from fossil fuels. Westchester communities have taken the lead in these efforts, and now dozens of NY communities have followed with similar programs.

Clean Energy Implications
for Westchester County

Our communities need to move away from fossil fuel-powered electricity quickly to help mitigate the challenges associated with Climate Change. A transformation towards clean-powered electricity is entirely possible.

Westchester Power communities can help accelerate this transition, promoting the generation of clean energy, as well as sending signals to electricity generators, investors, and governments that we place a high priority on ensuring a sustainable and healthy future.

Our energy choices and COVID 19

Studies are showing that areas with higher levels of pollution see worse outcomes from COVID 19. Many observers have pointed out the similarities in the challenges since both require collective, long-term action to solve.

Sea Level Rise

Over the past century, the Hudson has risen about a foot due to global warming (see this Scenic Hudson article), threatening households and habitats. This map shows how the Yonkers waterfront may fare over this century. We can reduce the impact and costs by taking strong action to reverse the growth of greenhouse gases.

Temperature rise & disparate impacts

By the year 2100, on our current trajectory, New York starts to look more like Florida (Climate Central):

But like so many of the effects of global warming, the impact can vary greatly. Groundwork Hudson Valley has done amazing work to go one step further and show how the practice of Redlining has amplified the environmental justice aspect of the problem through the creation of “heat islands” [read more here]:

More resources about local climate change impacts