[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Cortlandt as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Energize NY Benefit Financing Program
Article II Community Choice Aggregation (Energy) Program
[Adopted 8-12-2014 by L.L. No. 3-2014]
It is the policy of both the Town of Cortlandt and the State of New York to achieve energy efficiency and renewable energy goals, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate the effect of global climate change, and advance a clean energy economy. The Town finds that it can fulfill this policy by providing property assessed clean energy financing to property owners for the installation of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency measures. This article establishes a program that will allow the Energy Improvement Corporation (EIC), a local development corporation, acting on behalf of the Town, to make funds available to qualified property owners that will be repaid by such property owners through charges on the real properties benefited by such funds, thereby fulfilling the purposes of this article and fulfilling an important public purpose.
The Town of Cortlandt is authorized to implement this Energize NY Benefit Financing Program pursuant to Article 5-L of the New York General Municipal Law.
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Energize NY Benefit Financing Program Law of the Town of Cortlandt."
For purposes of this article, and unless otherwise expressly stated or unless the context requires, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The New York State Energy Research and Development authority, as defined by Subdivision 2 of § 1851 of the Public Authorities Law, or its successor.
- The Energy Improvement Corporation, a local development corporation, duly organized under § 1411 of the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law, authorized hereby on behalf of the Town of Cortlandt to implement the Energize NY Benefit Financing Program by providing funds to qualified property owners (as defined in this article) and providing for repayment of such funds from monies collected by the Town Tax Collector as a charge to be levied on the real property and collected in the same manner and same form as the Town taxes.
- ENERGY AUDIT
- A formal evaluation or "assessment" of the energy consumption of a permanent building or structural improvement to real property, conducted by a contractor certified by the authority, or certified by a certifying entity approved by the authority, for the purpose of identifying appropriate energy efficiency improvements that could be made to the property.
- ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENT
- Any renovation or retrofitting of a building to reduce energy consumption, such as window and door replacement, lighting, caulking, weatherstripping, air sealing, insulation, and heating and cooling system upgrades, and similar improvements, determined to be cost effective pursuant to criteria established by the authority, not including lighting measures or household appliances that are not permanently fixed to real property.
- QUALIFIED PROPERTY OWNER
- An owner of residential or commercial real property located within the boundaries of the Town of Cortlandt that is determined to be eligible to participate in the Energize NY Benefit Financing Program under the procedures for eligibility set forth under this article.
- RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEM
- An energy generating system for the generation of electric or thermal energy, to be used primarily at such property, by means of solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, wind, geothermal, anaerobic digester gas-to-electricity systems, fuel cell technologies, or other renewable energy technology approved by the authority, not including the combustion or pyrolysis of solid waste.
- RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEM FEASIBILITY STUDY
- A written study, conducted by a contractor certified by the authority, or certified by a certifying entity approved by the authority, for the purpose of determining the feasibility of installing a renewable energy system.
An Energize NY Benefit Financing Program is hereby established by the Town of Cortlandt, whereby EIC, acting on its behalf, may provide funds to qualified property owners in accordance with the procedures set forth under this article, to finance the acquisition, construction and installation of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements and the verification of the installation of such systems and improvements.
The funds provided shall not exceed the lesser of 10% of the appraised value of the real property where the renewable energy systems and/or energy efficiency improvements will be located, or the actual cost of installing the renewable energy systems and/or energy efficiency improvements, including the costs of necessary equipment, materials, and labor and the cost of verification of such systems and improvements.
Any property owner in the Town may submit application to EIC on such forms as have been prepared by EIC and made available to property owners on the website of EIC and at the Town Clerk's office.
Every application submitted by a property owner shall be reviewed by EIC acting on behalf of the Town, which shall make a positive or negative determination on such application based upon the criteria for making a financing enumerated in Subsection A of § 156-5 of this article. EIC may also request further information from the property owner where necessary to aid in its determination.
If a positive determination on an application is made by EIC acting on behalf of the Town, the property owner shall be deemed a qualified property owner and shall be eligible to participate in the Energize NY Benefit Financing Program in accordance with the procedure set forth under § 156-6 of this article, provided that in no case shall a property owner that has received funds from another municipal corporation for the acquisition, construction and installation of energy efficiency improvements and/or renewable energy systems be deemed a qualified property owner.
At no one time shall the total of all payments being collected for this program by the Town exceed $50,000 per annum.
Upon the submission of an application, EIC, acting on behalf of the Town, shall make a positive or negative determination on such application based upon the following criteria for the making of a financing:
The proposed energy efficiency improvements and/or renewable energy systems are determined to be cost effective by the authority;
The proposed energy efficiency improvements and/or renewable energy systems will generate an estimated annual cost savings greater than the annual charge payments;
Sufficient funds are available to provide to the property owner;
The property owner is current in payments on any existing mortgage;
The property owner is current in payments on any existing real property taxes and has been current on real property taxes for the previous three years; and
Such additional criteria, not inconsistent with the criteria set forth above, as the Town, or EIC acting on its behalf, may set from time to time.
A qualified property owner may participate in the Energize NY Benefit Financing Program through the execution of an energize finance agreement made by and between the qualified property owner and EIC, acting on the behalf of the Town.
Upon execution of the energize finance agreement, the qualified property owner shall be eligible to receive funds from EIC, acting on behalf of the Town, for the acquisition, construction, and installation of qualifying renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements, provided that the requirements of § 156-7 of this article have been met.
No funds shall be made available for energy efficiency improvements unless determined to be appropriate through an energy audit as defined in § 156-2.
No funds shall be made available for a renewable energy system unless determined to be feasible through a renewable energy system feasibility study as defined in § 156-2.
The cost of such energy audit and/or renewable energy system feasibility study shall be borne solely by the property owner but may be included in the financed amount if the work is approved.
The energize finance agreement between the qualified property owner and EIC, acting on behalf of the Town, shall set forth the terms and conditions of repayment in accordance with the following:
The principal amount of the funds paid to the qualified property owner hereunder, together with the interest thereon, shall be paid by the property owner as a charge on his or her property tax bill and shall be levied and collected at the same time and in the same manner as Town property taxes, provided that such charge shall be separately listed on the tax bill. The Town shall make payment to EIC or its designee, in the amount of all such separately listed charges within 30 days of the Town property tax due date.
The term of such repayment shall be determined at the time the energize finance agreement is executed by the property owner and EIC, provided that in no case shall the term exceed the weighted average of the useful life of the systems and improvements as determined by EIC acting on behalf of the Town.
The rate of interest for the charge shall be fixed by EIC, acting on behalf of the Town, at the time the energize finance agreement is executed by the property owner and EIC.
The charge shall constitute a lien upon the real property benefited by the Energize NY Benefit Financing Program and shall run with the land. A transferee of title to the benefited real property shall be required to pay any future installments, including interest thereon.
EIC shall be responsible for verifying and reporting to the Town on the installation and performance of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements financed by such program.
The Town shall verify and report on the installation and performance of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements financed by the Energize NY Benefit Financing Program in such form and manner as the authority may establish.
[Adopted 8-18-2015 by L.L. No. 2-2015]
It is the policy of both the Town of Cortlandt and the State of New York to reduce costs and provide cost certainty for the purpose of economic development, to promote deeper penetration of energy efficiency and renewable energy resources such as wind and solar, and wider deployment of distributed energy resources as well as to examine the retail energy markets and increase participation of and benefits for residential and small commercial customers in those markets. Among the policies and models that may offer benefits in New York is community choice aggregation, which allows local governments to determine the default supplier of electricity and natural gas on behalf of its residential and small commercial customers.
The purpose of this CCA Program is to allow participating local governments, including the Town of Cortlandt, to procure energy supply service for their residential and small commercial customers, who will have the opportunity to opt out of the procurement, while maintaining transmission and distribution service from the existing distribution utility. This article establishes a program that will allow the Town of Cortlandt to put out for bid the total amount of natural gas and/or electricity being purchased by local residential and small commercial customers. Bundled customers will have the opportunity to have more control to lower their overall energy costs, to spur clean energy innovation and investment, to improve customer choice and value, and to protect the environment; thereby, fulfilling the purposes of this article and fulfilling an important public purpose.
The Town of Cortlandt is authorized to implement this Community Choice Aggregation (Energy) Program pursuant to Section 10(1)(ii)(a)(12) of the New York Municipal Home Rule Law; and State of New York Public Service Commission Case No. 14-M-0564, Petition of Sustainable Westchester for Expedited Approval for the Implementation of a Pilot Community Choice Aggregation Program within the County of Westchester, Order Granting Petition in Part (issued February 26, 2015) as may be amended, including subsequent orders of the Public Service Commission issued in connection with or related to Case No. 14-M-0564 (collectively, the "Order"). "Order" shall also mean orders of the Public Service Commission Case No. 14-M-0224, Proceeding on Motion of the Commission to Enable Community Choice Aggregation Programs (issued December 15, 2014) to the extent that orders related to Case No. 14-M-0224 enable actions by the Town of Cortlandt not otherwise permitted pursuant to orders related to Case 14-M-0564; provided, however, that in the event of any conflict between orders from Case No. 14-M-0564 and orders from Case No. 14-M-0224, orders from Case No. 14-M-0564 shall govern the CCA Program.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Community Choice Aggregation (Energy) Program Law of the Town of Cortlandt."
For the purposes of this article, and unless otherwise expressly stated or unless the context otherwise requires, the terms of this article shall have the meanings employed in the State of New York Public Service Commission's Uniform Business Practices or, if not so defined there, as indicated below:
- BUNDLED CUSTOMERS
- Residential and small commercial customers of electricity or natural gas ("fuels") who are purchasing the fuels from the distribution utility.
- COMMUNITY CHOICE AGGREGATION PROGRAM OR CCA PROGRAM
- A municipal energy procurement program, which replaces the incumbent utility as the default supplier for all bundled customers within the Town of Cortlandt.
- DISTRIBUTION UTILITY
- Owner or controller of the means of distribution of the natural gas or electricity that is regulated by the Public Service Commission.
- PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
- New York State Public Service Commission.
- SMALL COMMERCIAL
- Nonresidential customers as permitted by the Order.
- Energy service companies (ESCOs) that procure electric power and natural gas for bundled customers in connection with this article or, alternatively, generators of electricity and natural gas or other entities who procure and resell electricity or natural gas.
- SUSTAINABLE WESTCHESTER
- A not-for-profit organization comprised of member municipalities in Westchester County, New York.
A Community Choice Aggregation (Energy) Program is hereby established by the Town of Cortlandt, whereby the Town of Cortlandt shall work together with Sustainable Westchester to implement the CCA Program to the full extent permitted by the Order, as set forth more fully herein. The Town of Cortlandt's role under the CCA Program involves the aggregating of the electric and/or natural gas supply of its residents and the entering into a contract with one or more suppliers for supply and services. Under the CCA Program, the operation and ownership of the utility service shall remain with the distribution utility.
The Town of Cortlandt's purchase of energy supply through a CCA Program constitutes neither the purchase of a public utility system, nor the furnishing of utility service. The Town of Cortlandt will not take over any part of the electric or gas transmission or distribution system and will not furnish any type of utility service, but will instead negotiate with suppliers on behalf of participating residential and small commercial customers.
In order to implement the CCA Program, the Town of Cortlandt will adopt one or more resolutions that outline the process of and conditions for participation in the CCA Program, including but not limited to signing a contract for a compliant bid with one or more suppliers, all as consistent with the article and the Order.
As permitted by the Order, the Town of Cortlandt may request from the distribution utilities aggregated customer information by fuel type and service classification on a rolling basis.
Sustainable Westchester, on behalf of the Town of Cortlandt, shall issue one or more requests for proposals to suppliers to provide energy to participants and may then award a contract in accordance with the CCA Program.
Sustainable Westchester or the Town of Cortlandt if the Town so chooses, will then request individual customer data from the distribution utility in accordance with the CCA Program.
Sustainable Westchester or the Town of Cortlandt if the Town so chooses, and the selected supplier will then notify bundled customers of the contract terms and their opportunity to opt out of the CCA Program.
In accordance with and for purposes of the Order, the existing distribution utility, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., will provide to Sustainable Westchester aggregate and customer-specific data (including usage data, capacity tag obligations, account numbers, and service addresses) of all bundled customers in the Town of Cortlandt not currently enrolled with an ESCO.
Sustainable Westchester and the Town of Cortlandt, will protect customer information as required by law, subject to the Order and the limitations of the New York State Freedom of Information Law.
The Town of Cortlandt or in conjunction with the ESCO will notify its residential and small commercial customers, by letter notice, of the Town of Cortlandt's decision to establish the CCA Program, of the contract terms with an ESCO, and of the opportunity to opt out of the CCA Program.
The letter notice will be sent to each customer at the address provided by the Distribution Utility and explain the CCA Program and the material provisions of the ESCO contract, identify the methods by which the customer can opt out of the CCA Program, and provide information on how the customer can access additional information about the CCA Program.
The opt-out period shall be 20 days.
CCA Program bundled customers, upon enrollment, will receive a welcome letter that will explain the customers' options for canceling the enrollment if they believe they were enrolled incorrectly or otherwise decide to withdraw from the CCA Program in favor of another supplier. The welcome letter also will explain that residential customers are entitled to the added protection of the mandated three-day rescission period as detailed in Section 5(B)(3) of the Uniform Business Practices.
Sustainable Westchester shall be responsible for filing an annual report with the Public Service Commission, which identifies the number of customers enrolled in the CCA Program by municipality and customer class, the number of customers who returned to utility service or service with another Supplier during the reporting period, and the average cost of commodity supply by month for the reporting period.