In addition to reviewing the FAQs below, this webinar overview may help to inform you about MEGA’s program.
What is MEGA?
The Municipal Electric and Gas Alliance is a not-for-profit Local Development Corporation governed by a Board of Directors elected yearly from corporate membership. As of January 2018, MEGA serves as procurement manager for more than 280 municipal entities’ electricity, natural gas and renewable power supplies.
What is the status of MEGA’s current programs for electric and natural gas supplies and renewable energy?
|Utility||Commodity||Current Supplier||Term Date|
|Central Hudson||Electric||Direct Energy||Oct. 31, 2020|
|Central Hudson||Natural Gas||Direct Energy||Oct. 31, 2020|
|NYSEG||Electric||Constellation||Oct. 31, 2020|
|NYSEG||Natural Gas||Direct Energy||Oct. 31, 2020|
|National Grid||Electric||Constellation||Oct. 31, 2020|
|National Grid||Natural Gas||Direct Energy||Oct. 31, 2020|
|RG&E||Electric||Constellation||Oct. 31, 2020|
|RG&E||Natural Gas||Direct Energy||Oct. 31, 2020|
|National Fuel Gas||Natural Gas||Direct Energy||Oct. 31, 2020|
|Consolidated Edison||Natural Gas||Direct Energy||Oct. 31, 2020|
|St. Lawrence Gas||Natural Gas||Sprague Energy||Oct. 31, 2020|
|All Utilities||Small Hydroelectricity||Gravity Renewables||Dec. 31, 2019|
|Statewide||Delivered CNG||Direct Energy||Dec. 31, 2020|
|Statewide||Curtailment Services||CPower||Dec. 31, 2018|
|Statewide||Community Choice Aggregation||MEGA as Administrator||Ongoing|
How is MEGA able to bid energy supply pricing and assure customers of the lowest price in the future?
The price of energy is set every day in the marketplace. For electricity, the New York Independent System Operator runs a 24/7 auction to determine pricing in 11 load zones in the state. For natural gas, the most transparent pricing is set on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). For both commodities, utilities and suppliers alike must add in costs of transmission capacity and other factors before the consumer’s price is set. These additional cost factors are the element that MEGA procures through its competitive bids. Once MEGA knows it is getting the best price on the “mark-up”, MEGA knows that its customers are getting the best overall price. Commodity markets change continuously, and utility delivery rates are set by regulation. Importantly, MEGA aims (successfully, so far) to offer a “mark-up” that is lower than any utility mark-up or “merchant function charge.” MEGA can thus assure participants that they will be better off with a MEGA supplier than even with the utility’s pricing.
What is the benefit of MEGA’s group buying approach?
MEGA’s business model allows any potential participant to request an offer at no cost or obligation. MEGA participants pay only for the energy they use. There is no subscription cost or risk tied to the performance of other customers. MEGA’s buying power has increased over the years. Today, MEGA represents a significant share of all supplier-served customer demand in New York State (nearly 2% of all electric usage served by suppliers as of 2015 is in the utilities where MEGA is active). For this reason, suppliers compete more aggressively to win the bids, leading to reduced energy costs for MEGA’s participants. Suppliers’ customer service and sales costs are reduced through MEGA’s efforts and size, and the savings are passed through to consumers.
How is MEGA able to offer its programs over all of New York?
All bids benefiting MEGA public agency customers are secured through public, competitive bid process following state law. New York State General Municipal Law Section 103(3) authorizes political subdivisions (including municipal corporations and school districts), to purchase materials or services through any county in the State, subject to rules established pursuant to County Law Section 408-a(2). In accord with these laws, counties issuing bids on behalf of MEGA have made their bids for electric and natural gas supply programs, renewable energy and other services, open to all municipal entities in the State. In addition, Section 119-o of General Municipal Law allows municipalities and school districts to join together to perform any of their respective functions or duties, which includes purchasing gas and electricity. The effectiveness of this cooperative purchasing approach, pursuant to existing State Law, is indicated by the fact that MEGA presently serves more than 280 municipal entities, including 34 county governments. For the renewable energy programs, Article 9 of the Energy Law was referenced for the competitive procurement process, with the “piggybacking” provisions of GML allowing all municipalities and school districts to take part.
Does MEGA work with more than one supplier?
As the table above shows, MEGA has awarded its programs to several suppliers, based on which company submitted the low qualified bid for a given commodity in a given utility territory. MEGA and its suppliers work closely to make the programs successful and responsive to customer requirements, but MEGA has no obligation to a supplier beyond the term of its Program Agreement.
How does a customer get an offer through the MEGA program?
A customer can go to www.megaenergy.org and submit account information through the “Get Started” window. Account information can also be submitted by regular mail or fax, using the form on the MEGA flyer, available through MEGA’s offices or its consultants, EnergyNext, Inc., of Saratoga Springs. There is no cost or obligation. An energy supply proposal will be provided by the appropriate MEGA supplier. Questions may be directed to MEGA staff at 518.306.1996, or to EnergyNext, Inc., at 518.580.9244.