[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Clarkstown 9-10-2019 by L.L. No. 13-2019. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A local law creating a new chapter of the Clarkstown Town Code entitled "Community Choice Aggregation (Energy) Program."
It is the policy of both the Town of Clarkstown ("Town") and State of New York to reduce costs and provide price certainty for the purpose of consumer protection and economic development, to expand access and opportunities for customers in retail energy markets, as well as to promote the sustainability and resilience of energy systems through the proliferation of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and distributed energy resources ("OER"). Among the initiatives that may advance these objectives is community choice aggregation ("CCA"), a policy that empowers local governments to select the source of electricity and/or natural gas supply on behalf of its residents and small businesses, reflecting local resources, priorities, and challenges. Energy delivery shall remain the responsibility of the distribution utility.
This chapter establishes the authority for the Town, in connection with the implementation of a CCA program, to acquire utility data; to select, through competitive solicitation, one or more energy supplier(s) on behalf of participating customers within the Town; and to maximize value for participating customers through enhanced services related to distributed energy resources. The Town may choose to collaborate with other local governments to form an intermunicipal CCA program. By establishing a CCA program, participating customers may have the opportunity to lower and stabilize their energy costs, to spur local clean energy innovation and investment, and to reduce their environmental impact; thereby fulfilling the purposes of this chapter and fulfilling a public purpose.
The Town is authorized to implement this community choice aggregation program pursuant to § 10(1)(ii)(a)(12) of the New York Municipal Home Rule Law; and consistent with State of New York Public Service Commission Case No. 14-M-0224, Proceeding on Motion of the Commission to Enable Community Choice Aggregation Programs (issued April 21, 2016), as may be amended, including subsequent orders of the Public Service Commission issued in connection with or related to Case No. 14-M-0224.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Community Choice Aggregation (Energy) Program Law" of the Town of Clarkstown.
For purposes of this chapter, and unless otherwise expressly stated or unless the context otherwise requires, the terms in this chapter 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:
- AGGREGATED DATA
- Aggregated and anonymized information including the number of customers by service class, the aggregated peak demand (kW) (for electricity) by month for the past 12 months, by service class to the extent possible, and the aggregated energy (kWh) for electricity or volumetric consumption for gas by month for the past 12 months by service class.
- CCA ADMINISTRATOR
- The Town through a third-party CCA Administrator duly authorized to put out for bid the total amount of electricity and/or natural gas being purchased by participating customers. CCA Administrator is responsible for program organization, administration, procurement, and communications, unless otherwise specified.
- CUSTOMER-SPECIFIC DATA
- Customer-specific information, personal data and utility data for all consumers in the Town eligible for opt-out treatment based on the terms of PSC CCA Order and the CCA program design including the customer of record's name, mailing address, telephone number, account number, and primary language, if available, and any customer-specific alternate billing name, address, and phone number.
- DATA SECURITY AGREEMENT
- An agreement between the distribution utility and the Town that obligates each party to meet, collectively: i) all national, state and local laws, regulations or other government standards relating to the protection of information that identifies or can be used to identify an individual default customer with respect to the CCA Administrator or its representative's processing of confidential utility information; ii) the distribution utility's internal requirements and procedures relating to the protection of information that identifies or can be used to identify individual default customer with respect to the CCA Administrator or its representative's processing of confidential utility information; and iii) the PSC CCA Order and PSC rules, regulations and guidelines relating to confidential data.
- DEFAULT CUSTOMER
- A consumer of electricity and/or natural gas services within opt-out eligible service classes (as delineated in the PSC CCA Order) who receives supply service from the distribution utility as of the date that the supply contract goes into effect, or a consumer within these service classes who subsequently becomes eligible to become a participating customer in the CCA program, including a consumer who has terminated a supply contract with an ESCO; a consumer who has removed a freeze or block on the consumer's account; a consumer who has voluntarily suspended service pursuant to a special rate; or a consumer who becomes a new resident of the Town after the supply contract goes into effect. None of the following are considered a default customer and will not be enrolled on an opt-out basis: a consumer within opt-out eligible service classes who receives supply service from an ESCO as of the date that the supply contract goes into effect; a consumer who has placed a freeze or block on the consumer's account; and a consumer for whom enrollment in the CCA program would interfere with a choice the consumer had already made to take service pursuant to a special rate. For the avoidance of doubt, a default customer must reside or be otherwise located at one or more locations within the geographic boundaries of the Town, as such boundaries exist as of the date the supply contract goes into effect.
- DEFAULT SERVICE
- Supply service provided by the distribution utility to customers who are not currently receiving service from an energy service company (ESCO). Default customers within the Town that receive default service, and have not opted out will be enrolled in the program as of the effective date.
- DISTRIBUTED ENERGY RESOURCES (DER)
- Local renewable energy projects, shared renewables like community solar, energy efficiency, demand response, energy management, energy storage, micro grid projects and other innovative Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiatives that optimize system benefits, target and address load pockets/profile within the CCA's zone, and reduce cost of service for participating customers.
- DISTRIBUTION UTILITY
- Owner or controller of the means of distribution of the natural gas or electricity that is regulated by the Public Service Commission.
- ESCO or ENERGY SERVICES COMPANY
- An entity duly authorized to conduct business in the State of New York as an ESCO.
- NEW CONSUMERS
- Customers of electricity that become default customers after the effective date of the ESA, including those that opt in or move into Town.
- PARTICIPATING CUSTOMERS
- Default customers enrolled in the program, either because they are customers who receive default service from the distribution utility as of the effective date and have not opted out, or are new customers.
- PSC CCA ORDER
- The PSC's Order Authorizing Framework for Community Choice Aggregation Opt-Out Program, issued on April 21, 2016 in Case 14-M-0224, "Proceeding on Motion of the Commission to Enable Community Choice Aggregation Programs."
- PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION or PSC
- New York State Public Service Commission.
- ESCOs that procure electric power and natural gas for default customers in connection with this chapter or, alternatively, generators of electricity and natural gas or other entities who procure and resell electricity or natural gas.
A community choice aggregation (energy) program is hereby established by the Town, whereby the Town may implement a CCA program to the full extent permitted by the PSC CCA Order, as set forth more fully herein.
The Town may enter into contracts with one or more suppliers for energy supply and other services on behalf of default customers.
The Town may enter into agreements and contracts with other municipalities, nonprofits, consultants, and/or other third parties to: i) develop and implement the CCA program; ii) act as CCA Administrator; and/or iii) develop offers of opt-in distributed energy resources (DER) products and services to participating customers, including opportunities to participate in local renewable energy projects, shared solar, energy efficiency, micro grids, storage, demand response, energy management, and other innovative Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiatives and objectives designed to optimize system benefits, target and address load pockets/profile within the CCA zone, and reduce costs for CCA customers.
The operation and ownership of the utility service shall remain with the distribution utility. The Town's participation in a CCA program constitutes neither the purchase of a public utility system, nor the furnishing of utility service. The Town shall 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 customers.
All default customers shall be enrolled on an opt-out basis. Default customers will have the right to opt out before the supply contract goes into effect, or disenroll any time thereafter with no penalty. Default customers who do not opt out before the supply contract goes into effect will be enrolled automatically.
All non-default customers within the Town, regardless of service class, shall be eligible to participate in the CCA program on an opt-in basis.
The CCA Administrator 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, this chapter, and the PSC CCA Order.
The CCA Administrator shall cause the mailing of a program notification letter, printed on municipal letterhead, to default customers at least 30 days prior to customer enrollment. The letter shall include information on the CCA program and the supply contract signed with the selected supplier(s), including specific details on rates, services, contract term, and methods for opting out of the CCA program. The letter shall explain that default customers who do not opt out will be enrolled in the CCA program under the supply contract terms and that information on those customers, including energy usage data, will be provided to the ESCO.
After the initial thirty-day opt-out period, all participating customers shall have the option to disenroll from the CCA program at any time without penalty.
The Town may request aggregated data and customer-specific data from the distribution utility; provided, however, that the request for customer-specific data is limited to only those default customers who did not opt-out once the initial opt-out period has closed.
Customer-specific data shall be protected in a manner compliant with, collectively: i) all national, state and local laws, regulations or other government standards relating to the protection of information that identifies or can be used to identify an individual that apply with respect to the Town or its representative's processing of confidential utility information; ii) the utility's internal requirements and procedures relating to the protection of information that identifies or can be used to identify an individual that apply with respect to the Town or its representative's processing of confidential utility information; and iii) the PSC CCA Order and PSC rules, regulations and guidelines relating to confidential data.
The Town must enter into a data security agreement with the distribution utility for the purpose of protecting customer data.
The CCA Administrator may collect, or cause to be collected, funds from customer payments to pay for administrative costs associated with running the CCA program.
The CCA Administrator shall prepare and file with the Town Board of an annual report by March 31 of each year concerning the operations of the CCA program for the previous calendar year.
Each annual report shall include, at a minimum, the following: number of participating customers served; number of participating customers cancelling; number of complaints received; commodity prices paid; value-added services provided during the previous calendar year (e.g., installation of DER or other clean energy services); and administrative costs collected. The first annual report shall also include the number of customers who opted out in response to the initial opt-out letter or letters.
If a supply contract will expire less than one year following the filing of an annual report, the report shall describe current plans for soliciting a new supply contract, negotiating an extension, or terminating the CCA program.
The invalidity or unenforceability of any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause, provision, or phrase of the aforementioned sections, as declared by the valid judgment of any court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional, shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause, provision, or phrase, which shall remain in full force and effect.
This chapter shall be effective immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State.