Southampton Seeks Support for Renewable Power Program

Pictured Above: Annabelle, Harry, and Olivia Roussel of Sag Harbor – who made signs at home to motivate Long Islanders to sign the Letter Of Support.

Southampton Town is seeking support from its residents for a new program called Choice Community Power, which would allow the town to issue a competitive bid to choose renewable energy for its residents, at what the town expects will be a cost savings to residents.

The town is asking residents to submit letters of support for the program to the Long Island Power Authority by 5 p.m. today, May 11, in advance of a May 20 vote by LIPA.

Southampton is working with the Katonah, NY based company Joule Community Power to develop the program.

East Hampton Town has proposed a similar program, but will not hold the town’s own public hearing on it until May 21, before it would go to LIPA for a vote.

The program, known as Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), enables a town, or group of towns and incorporated villages, issue a competitive bid and choose an electricity supplier on behalf of the municipality’s residents and small businesses.

CCA aggregates the purchasing power of all the town’s residents and small businesses, so lower electric rates can be negotiated. The savings can enable the entire community to switch to 100 percent clean and renewable electricity for less than what residents pay now.

Individual residents and businesses can opt out of the program.

CCA is a concept first implemented in Massachusetts about 20 years ago. It’s been adopted by eight states, including New York in 2014.

Sustainable Westchester launched the first CCA in New York State in 2016. The Westchester pilot, now called Westchester Power, provides electricity from 100 percent renewable sources for 25 of the 26 municipalities in the CCA Program.  

There are five CCA programs in operation upstate and several others being developed. If Southampton’s program is approved, it would be the first on Long Island.

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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