City of Rochester pushing to go green with new energy program

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ROCHESTER, N.Y – (WROC) – Members of the Rochester City Council is making a move to go green. The council approved a bill that will allow people in the city to choose from clean energy options.

The program will allow the city to negotiate prices for clean energy on behalf of residents and small businesses. It’s called community choice aggregation.

Through the program homeowners and small businesses will band together to buy clean energy. A solution climate activist Abigail McHugh-Grifa says saves the climate and residents money.

“And so with that aggregated buying power, the city can negotiate for lower rates, can negotiate for cleaner supply, as well as locally-produced energy,” said McHugh-Grifa, a climate activist with Rochester People’s Climate Coalition.

McHugh-Grifa also says going green yields a health benefit.

“So having clean energy of course allows us to of course transition off of fossil fuels, which is better for our health, we’re not breathing in dirty air,” said McHugh-Grifa.

Rochester now joins the towns of Irondequoit, Brighton, Pittsford and the Village of Pittsford. Together they launched a similar program last year. Now they are holding information sessions for residents.

“The good thing about this is it’s structured to be able to answer those questions that people might have because it’s well thought out and catered to public participation, said Dave Seely, Town Supervisor of Irondequoit.

Seely says the process can be complicated but worth it. He hopes to have residents paying less for energy soon.

“Our goal is to be able to roll this out entirely somewhere in the mid-point of next year,” said Seely.

Residents will have a choice. If they want to stick with traditional energy they can opt-out of the program.

Under the new program Seely says people shouldn’t see any changes except the cost of their energy bills.

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