Saugerties Town Board considers community choice aggregate electricity program
William J. Kemble reports for the Daily Freeman that Saugerties Town Board members are split over another go with community choice aggregate electricity purchasing after the failure of Columbia Utilities to maintain a contract with 10 municipalities when costs became high. The board voted Nov. 16 3-2 vote to cover a share of the legal fee in a lawsuit in a case against Columbia Utilities. Saugerties Supervisor Fred Costello said the savings to consumers may make it worth it to go into business with the company again. “During the period that the CCA (Community Choice Aggregate) program was in place the estimated captured savings of the people who were a part of it was over $8 million,” Supervisor Fred Costello said. “I find that to be a substantial number. So even though the company that was our vendor did not fulfill the balance of their contract, I think it’s worthwhile for us to partner with that same group and go back into the energy market (to) secure a new contract for a period in the near future.” The towns of Marbletown, Saugerties, New Paltz, Red Hook, Clinton, and Philipstown, the villages of New Paltz and Cold Spring, and the cities of Beacon and Poughkeepsie, representing 23,000 customers, are all suing Columbia Utilities. The company had contracts with the municipalities through June 30, 2024, but abandoned the contracts in July after the state oversight agency New York Independent System Operator found the provider had failed to meet creditworthiness requirements in assuring its fiscal viability. Saugerties board members Zach Horton is not sure about working with the company again. “A lot of residents of this town … experienced more difficulty with the program and my confidence is not quite there,” Horton said. “(Contracts were approved) before my appointment to board but I felt like the town was taken for a financial ride. My personal level of confidence is not there.” Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.