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Informational meetings set for city clean power program

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The administrators for a new city of Rochester clean energy initiative, known as Rochester Community Power, will hold virtual informational hearings on the program over the next few weeks.

Rochester Community Power is the city’s community choice aggregation program. Under community choice aggregation, local governments procure power on behalf of residents, certain businesses, and municipal customers from a supplier while the utility company — Rochester Gas & Electric in the city’s case — continues to provide transmission and distribution services. The individual customers remain responsible for their own bills.

By aggregating electricity demand across several sectors, communities gain leverage to negotiate better rates with competitive suppliers and to gain access to more renewable power sources.

Joule Community Power, a firm from Westchester County, is the city’s community choice aggregation program and local organization Roctricity is handling community outreach and education for the initiative. The organizations and the city will hold informational meetings about the community choice aggregation program at 5 p.m. on Nov. 19 and at 7 p.m. on Nov. 30, Dec. 9, and Dec. 10. They’ll all take place on Zoom and will have ASL interpreters. The Nov. 30 meeting will have a Spanish interpreter

Details for the meetings can be found on Rochester Community Power’s website at rochestercommunitypower.com/events.

“Roctricity is proud to help our city move us closer to a carbon-free future by flooding the grid clean, renewable energy,” Melissa Carlson of Roctricity said in a new release about the sessions. “We are happy to help our friends and neighbors learn they can buy clean energy at a competitive rate while also doing their part to preserve our environment for future generations.”



The city and its administrators are in the 60-day community outreach phase of the program. After that the administrators will work on procuring the power supply and providing utilities customers with rate information.

Brighton’s community choice aggregation program is set to launch on Jan. 1. It was able to line up a 100 percent renewable power supply, with energy produced in New York, that will cost customers 25 percent less than they’d pay if they chose a similar option on an individual basis, said Sue Hughes-Smith, one of Roctricity’s founders. The supply is a fraction of a penny cheaper than the average cost of RG&E’s standard electricity product over the last 24 months.

Roctricity and Joule are partnering with several other communities in the Greater Rochester region on community choice aggregation and community solar programs.

They’re working with the town of Geneva and villages of Brockport and Lima under the Finger Lakes Community Choice program; Brighton, the town and village of Pittsford, and Irondequoit under the Monroe Community Power Program; and the village of Victor and city of Canandaigua under the Gateway Community Power Program. Like Brighton, the Victor and Canandaigua programs are set to launch January 1.

Jeremy Moule is CITY’s news editor. He can be reached at jmoule@rochester-citynews.com.

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