March 2018 Newsletter
Nearly a year ago MEGA’s Board of Directors approved our Strategic Plan. Many days and hours were devoted to shaping MEGA’s future which is based solely upon the needs of our participants. Our new mission statement follows:
The Municipal Electric & Gas Alliance, Inc. (MEGA) is a 501 (c) (3), non-profit Local Development Corporation that procures reliable and cost-effective energy resources, supplies, and services for municipalities, school districts, businesses, households, and other organizations in New York State. In all of MEGA’s business practices it is committed to transparent operations and strict compliance with New York State Regulatory laws.
MEGA’s unique procurement and pricing approach allows you to contact MEGA, and look at energy pricing in the light of current market conditions at any time. If market pricing has declined since you signed your agreement, it’s possible that your current pricing could be reduced. NOW is the time to contact MEGA and see what can be done.
Other energy brokers ask customers to sign a Letter of Exclusivity, promising pricing proposals based on current market conditions. These LOEs bind the customer to that broker and eliminate MEGA’s ability to be of help. They also place a cloud over the customer’s compliance with New York State bid requirements, to which the MEGA program scrupulously adheres.
Once customers understand what a broker LOE is all about, they usually contact MEGA and remain with our program.
This edition of the MEGA MINUTE describes current programs, projects and challenges facing MEGA and its participants.
If you have any questions regarding MEGA don’t hesitate to call 518.306.1996 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Ron Feldstein, President and CEO
In 2017, MEGA participants consumed over ½ billion KWH of electricity and over 10 million therms of natural gas. Combined, these represent over $30 million of energy supply commodity. During 2017 the total number of municipal participants, including schools, non-profits and others increased from 269 to 289. MEGA also serves an additional 350 other participants.
MEGA initially counted two dozen municipal solar projects with our partner Tesla Energy. Recently, several projects have been cancelled due to high utility interconnection costs rendering those projects uneconomic. The current number of active projects now stands at 13. Most have operational start dates in 2018 with the remainder in 2019.
Gravity Renewables, MEGA’s hydro partner has projects that currently number eight: three are operating, three are expected to come online in 2018, and two more in the future.
Community Choice Aggregation
Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) uses principles of aggregated purchasing to drive down price, provide consumer protections and access renewable electricity. On October 19, 2017 MEGA’s CCA Program was unanimously approved by the Public Service Commission (PSC).
Since October, MEGA has received approval for CCA Implementation for 23 municipalities. These municipalities are located in the Southern Tier and Central NY and will be part of MEGA’s first two CCA Aggregations. With this success, municipalities in other regions of the State are also committing to explore CCA with MEGA.
As the first Program since the formal creation of CCA in NYS, things are moving slowly. MEGA is helping various stakeholders, including the utilities, develop processes for successful Program implementation. Once these processes are in place MEGA will be able to issue our first CCA bid.
MEGA continues to play a significant role in shaping the development of CCA Policy in NYS so that we can put the powers of aggregation to work for our participants and their residents.
As NYS counties move ahead with developing shared services plans designed to build on the goal of reducing property taxes, a new avenue of service has advanced for MEGA.
MEGA is taking a proactive approach by contacting the chief elected officials in each county and offering to analyze potential savings through participation in the MEGA program. We hope to speak with county shared services planning groups and explain how the MEGA program works and might generate monetary rebates for municipalities.
MEGA is a not-for-profit local development corporation and, in accordance with its By-Laws, member counties designate representatives to participate in the Corporation. There are 2 at large seats for entities representing other types of municipalities such as cities, towns, villages and school districts.
At the Annual Corporate meeting the Board of Directors is elected and they receive the financial report from the treasurer, adopted budget for the year, and consider such other matters as may be of importance and interest to the Corporation.
The Annual Meeting of the Municipal Electric and Gas Alliance, Inc. (MEGA) will convene on Friday April 20th in Cooperstown.
MEGA’s primary affiliate has been and continues to be New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC). Our partnership has served both of our organizations well. Their conferences offer an opportunity for us to engage with many of our county participants. NYSAC has been a strong advocate for us at the State level and their lobbying efforts in the area of energy are important to our continued success.
Additionally, MEGA participates in conferences presented by schools (NYSASBO), cities and villages (NYCOM), town clerks and housing authorities.