Facebook Twitter

Municipal Electric & Gas Alliance

December 2018 Newsletter

By on Dec 18, 2018

With the official start of winter a few weeks away (who are we kidding, it’s been here for more than a month) we should be focusing on increases in utility costs. MEGA supports fixed economical energy pricing and we’ll explain why.

MEGA’s commitment to procuring competitive electric and natural gas supply pricing in accordance with NYS General Municipal Law has again achieved success with successive contracts recently awarded by Genesee County. See below.

MEGA’s Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is moving along swiftly having recently overcome several statewide obstacles. See below.

Did you know that MEGA’s Customer Relations Manager, Barbara Blanchard (known to all as BB) is a founding member with over two decades of service?

On behalf of the MEGA Board and staff, we wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season.

Ron Feldstein

Recent Procurements

MEGA launched a procurement event earlier this Fall in partnership with Genesee County. An Invitation to Bid was issued for electric and natural gas supplies, as well as 100% Renewable Energy Credits. Bids were requested for supplies behind National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas, Central Hudson Electric & Gas, Rochester Gas & Electric, National Fuel, and St. Lawrence Gas. The best qualified and responsible bidders in each utility territory were selected to serve MEGA’s participants as follows:

Constellation New Energy, Inc., for all electricity supply programs in the National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas, Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Rochester Gas & Electric utility territories from November 1, 2020 through October 31, 2023.

Direct Energy Business Marketing, LLC for natural gas supply programs in the National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas, Rochester Gas & Electric, National Fuel Gas utility territories from November 1, 2020 through October 31, 2023.

Sprague Energy Solutions, Inc., for natural gas supply program in the St. Lawrence Gas utility territory from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2020.

East Coast Power & Gas, LLC., for natural gas supply program in the Central Hudson Gas & Electric utility territory from November 1, 2020 through October 31, 2023.

All bids benefiting MEGA public agency customers are secured through a public, competitive bid process in conformance with Section 408-a of the NYS County Law and Section 103(3) of the NYS General Municipal Law — allowing all political subdivisions and districts within the State of New York to participate in the contracts awarded as a result of this procurement.

About Barbara Blanchard

Ms. Blanchard was a member of the Tompkins County Legislature from 1993 to 2006 representing the First Ward in the City of Ithaca and a portion of the Town of Ithaca. Prior to election to the County Legislature, she served on the City of Ithaca Common Council for 4 years.

In addition to her public service life, Ms. Blanchard was a professional planner in New York State for 40 years, specializing in housing, community facilities and infrastructure, and project impact assessment. In 1966, following undergraduate work in housing finance and design at the University of Colorado and graduate studies in Regional Planning at Cornell, she served as Executive Director of the Ithaca Housing Authority from 1966-68 completing the planning and financing for 300 units of low rent public housing for the elderly and disadvantaged families.Barbara is the Customer Relations Manager for the Municipal Electric and Gas Alliance. She was one of the original founders of MEGA in the late ’90s when New York State deregulated the electricity market and served as MEGA’S Executive Director from 2006 – 2012.

Community Choice Aggregation Update

MEGA has exciting news about the implementation of our Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Program. MEGA is hard at work complying with new technical and administrative data security standards required by the Public Service Commission and New York Utilities. Our expectation is that this work will be completed in early 2019. After implementing the new data security processes and policies MEGA will issue our first CCA Request for Proposals (RFP). The RFP process will determine the price and terms offered to residents through the CCA. Upon award of the RFP, MEGA will do another round of outreach and education for participants in the program. Look for more exciting CCA news in early 2019.

Fixed pricing and weather/market outlook

Recent staff attention at MEGA has been engaged with the eternal debate over whether it is better for energy consumers to stabilize their costs with fixed pricing, or to lower their expense by opting for variable utility pricing. Using a rear-view mirror, critics look back and question why a customer’s fixed pricing cost more than the utility rate. Ignoring this hindsight analysis, markets and weather conditions have spoken. Recent twenty-four month fixed electric prices have risen more than 10% since last March. Much of that increase occurred before the unseasonably frigid autumn when natural gas prices rose more than 30% amid great volatility and high volume trading.   The market responded to a late fall that is 5% to 10% colder than usual.

NYSAC Legislative Conference

We will have an exhibit at the NYSAC conference Monday January 28th and Tuesday the 29th. The conference attracts officials from most of the counties that participate in the MEGA programs.The conference presents us with an opportunity to talk with many longtime partners and reaffirm our position as the premier energy aggregator in New York. We often answer inquiries about current energy issues. This conference also allows us to introduce our programs to potential county partners, but also presents an opportunity to speak with some town officials who represent supervisory counties.