Canton village board to host outreach to community on electricity buying club program
BY PAUL MITCHELL
North Country This Week
CANTON – A community outreach to inform residents what community choice aggregation has to offer is expected to be held this month.
At the monthly meeting of the village board on Dec. 21, trustee Klaus Proemm updated the board on the status of community power program, citing the importance of community engagement.“The reason that public outreach is so important is that we want Canton residents to be fully aware of the options before us, and to know the reasons why Community Choice aggregation will benefit village residents,” stated Proemm.
The village has been approached by Joule Community Power, a firm which administers a large number of community choice aggregation power arrangements for municipalities throughout the state.
Proemm provided a brief summary of the Joule program.
“By sourcing all renewable energy, we'll both save money for residents, or we won't do it) and lessen the burning of fossil fuels, thereby lowering our carbon footprint, minimizing climate impacts,” he said. “To clarify the actual energy purchase scenario, the decision on whether to go ahead with an energy "buy" will be made well after extensive public outreach/education, and after we've carefully examined the rates and conditions of the energy purchase, and we're convinced it is a good rate and is secure.”
“All residents will have the ability to opt out, both at the start, and at any time after. A letter will go out to all Village residents explaining options before the purchase happens,” Proemm continued.
The contract that the Village of Canton (and the Town of Potsdam) has with Joule Community Power is for them to be our CCA administrator. The power purchase contract will potentially come much later, probably in the fall, after the public outreach and thorough review, Proemm remarked.
To date, there is no contract in place.
“This community choice aggregation program would enable the village of Canton to provide eligible residents and small businesses with the benefits of renewable electricity supply,” a release on the village website reads.
The release explains a timeline.
“More municipalities are joining the upcoming bid. In spring 2023, the Village will be presented with prices and the option to select between a fixed-rate or a variable-rate offer. Market conditions, including price volatility and the need to maximize the availability of renewable electricity supply may lead to the variable-rate offer providing the best value to residents and small businesses.”
“If the Village selects a supplier and offering, all eligible residents and small businesses will be notified by letter in spring/summer 2023 of the details, their choices and how to opt-out. Participants can opt-out or opt back into the program at any time with no penalty by phone or online form. By participating in the program, residents and small businesses can access competitively priced electricity supply with no individual contract.”
“Additional public information sessions will be scheduled over the next two months. These sessions will provide general information, explain the benefits of participation by our residents and small businesses, and answer your questions.”
Additional information sessions will occur in 2023 if the Village signs a contract for CCA electricity supply. Information on upcoming information sessions can be found here: www.joulecommunitypower.com/events
For more information about the Village of Canton Community Power program, please visit www.joulecommunitypower.com/cantonvillage, call the helpline at (888) 985-2211 or email the program administrator, Joule, at [email protected].
The Town of Potsdam approved a contract with Joule at its Dec. 13 meeting. The terms of that contract sees the contract lasting 18 months and then auto renewed for 18 more months unless it is terminated in writing 30 days prior to the renewal.
Joule will essentially serve as a middle man, brokering sources of renewable energy from producers at a fixed rate on behalf of residents. Joule will be responsible for the CCA organization, administration, procurement, communications and implementation. Joule will also be responsible for managing the opt out process.