Poster Promoting NY Muni Aggregation Promised, "No More Energy Telemarketers Or Door To Door Sales"
Posters promoting municipal electricity aggregations in Oneonta and Horseheads, New York listed under "potential benefits" of the municipal aggregation the language, "No more energy telemarketers or door to door sales."
It was unclear as to how such a benefit would be realized, and if the language referred to the complete cessation of such sales (such as by adoption of an ordinance banning door-to-door energy sales), or that customers could ignore such pitches because thy are in the aggregation and have obtained what is claimed to be a good rate.
Many municipalities with opt-out aggregations actively discourage customers from considering non-aggregation retail supplier offers
The posters were submitted under an updated aggregation plan filed by the Municipal Electric and Gas Alliance (MEGA), which represents several municipalities pursuing opt-out aggregations.
With the updated filings, MEGA sought New York PSC review and approval of its proposed community choice aggregation (CCA) program
MEGA said that its municipal aggregation model is based on forming regional Energy Buying or Aggregation Groups that are aggregations of municipalities sharing the same utility territory and New York State Independent System Operator load zone.
In order to avoid potential difficulties associated with a CCA which spans different utility territories or load zones, and to minimize the potential that customers in lower-cost load zones could see their savings eroded by aggregating with customers in higher-cost load zones, each of MEGA’s Energy Buying Groups will have their own competitive bid pricing and ESCO contracting terms separate from the other buying groups or in a way that best serves the municipalities in all Energy Buying Groups.
While the PSC has been clear about the protection of personal customer information by CCAs, MEGA noted that utilities have raised concerns regarding confidential utility data (not specific to customers), and the utilities and MEGA disagree about the treatment of such aggregated data. MEGA said that, "[a] conclusive resolution of these issues by the Commission is critical to the implementation of CCA in New York; it is unlikely that MEGA will be able to proceed with its Program in a timely fashion, if and when it is approved by the Commission, absent a clear ruling addressing the uncertainties and questions surrounding CCAs and data security."