Local municipalities teaming up to get cheapest renewable energy for residents

Environment

PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WROC) — The town and village of Pittsford, town of Irondequoit, and city of Rochester are teaming up to go green and buy renewable energy for their residents. The Community Choice Aggregation program is a way for residents to get more affordable and cleaner energy.

New York State has a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2040. The United States is aiming for 100% by 2050. Pittsford town board member Stephanie Townsend said each municipality has to do its part.

“There is no way to meet those kinds of goals if we’re doing one household at a time. By taking this kind of step we change the whole system,” she said.

Community choice aggregation combines purchasing power between the municipalities to get the most affordable renewable energy for residents. Townsend said this is easier than each individual getting their own contract with a company.

“It becomes the default for everybody in the town of Pittsford. They can opt out if they don’t want to participate, but they don’t have to do anything special.”

Kevin Schulte is the CEO of GreenSpark Solar which built 125,000 solar panels locally last year alone. He said there are multiple ways to go solar, but regardless of how you do it, solar is the most effective form of renewable energy.

“Renewable energy, including solar, has long been a source of reducing our carbon footprint in the energy space. Today solar is the cheapest form of electricity available in the market,” Schulte said.

He said an important part of making Community Choice Aggregation most beneficial is to use locally sourced, green, New York State power.

“Not only are you delivering that benefit to the residents of your town, but you’re also delivering the economic benefits and the economic growth potential of the green energy economy.”

This week, the town of Pittsford voted to go to bid a second time, this time with the village of Pittsford, town of Irondequoit and city of Rochester, which can take a couple of months.

Greenspark solar has been working with Victor, Brighton, and Canandaigua on their efforts to bring renewable energy to the area. Thursday, they announced they’ll be offering a community solar component to their program, which will offer residents a five to ten percent additional savings on their electric bill.

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