Long Island Eyes Program To Lower Energy Costs, Boost Renewable Energy

42 minutes ago

Suffolk County lawmakers will look in the New Year into creating a digital platform to help town and village governments join and operate pacts to lower energy costs for consumers.

Community Choice Aggregation, known as CCA, allows for local governments to seek competitive bids for energy so consumers wouldn’t have to settle for the price set by a utility company.

Gordian Raacke heads Renewable Energy Long Island. He said the CCA could also require all or some portion of electricity and gas to come from renewable sources.

“It goes beyond just supplying power. CCAs can purchase power from energy suppliers just like the utilities do today. But CCAs could also run local energy efficiency programs and offer bulk purchase programs for solar panels and electric vehicles and things like that,” Raacke said.

Raacke was chair of a county committee that finished a report this month. It had recommendations for how CCA programs could prioritize clean energy to drive down costs, while contributing less to climate change.

Only 5% of energy distributed in Suffolk County comes from renewable sources.

“It's really hard for entrepreneurs who want to introduce innovative ways of producing energy cleaner ways of producing energy to do well on Long Island. These companies don't see Long Island as attractive. So that is one of the main next steps that we need to see,” said Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming.

Fleming sponsored legislation that formed the task force that offered recommendations this month for local governments to develop Community Choice Aggregation programs in the New Year.