Good Energy at KEMA Part 3: Municipal Energy Aggregation is Good Government
This is the third in an eight part series looking at Charles de Casteja, Managing Partner for the New York based municipal aggregation consulting firm Good Energy, at the 2013 KEMA Conference.
One of the biggest concerns residents have with municipal energy aggregation centers around the fear of “big government.” In discussing the strategy Good Energy utilized when building its presence in Illinois, de Casteja wondered, “how do you overcome [the fear that] this is big government doing it again?”
Ultimately, what residents actually fear is a lack of choice. However most residents come to realize that municipal energy aggregation adds choice, rather than takes it away. The key with municipal energy aggregation is that there is always an opt-out clause, meaning that any any resident who does not wish to be included in the aggregation, may simply opt-out, or not participate. There is no cost associated with opting-out, and residents will be given an opportunity to join the aggregation at a later date. Municipal energy aggregation simply provides residents with an additional choice.
It is for these reasons that de Casteja says, “in fact, utility was government. ”Municipal aggregation, meanwhile, “was choice. You actually didn't have choices and hadn't been making choices,” prior to aggregation. Most customers were having energy provided by their local utility company, whose rates could have been above market rates. Should the local utilities ever lower their rates to a level below that of the aggregation, then the aggregation simply stops. Aggregation is all about choice, and choice is at the heart of good government.
For more information on municipal energy aggregation, click here.