June 2018 Newsletter
The Municipal Electric and Gas Alliance continues to grow and help shape energy programs statewide while continuing its commitment to assist participants in procuring good, economical energy supplies.
MEGA’s impact on the energy market can be well documented via the ongoing successes in meeting our primary goal: to achieve the most competitive prices for electricity and natural gas for its members in order to minimize the cost of energy and to promote energy conservation and development of alternative energy resources. These achievements do not go unnoticed:
- MEGA is the statewide leader in developing Community Choice Aggregation.
- MEGA participated in a statewide webinar, Reforming the Energy Vision: Overview of Straw Proposal & Next Step.;
- MEGA was invited by NYSERDA to participate in the planning and presentation of NY Prize, a funding competition inviting proposals for developing a community grid.
- The Public Service Commission labelled MEGA as a “premier energy aggregator” in the State.
New Leadership at MEGA
At MEGA’s recent Annual Meeting, the Corporation elected Mark Taylor of Schuyler County to Chair the Board of Directors for 2018-19. Mark will be supported by Heather Brown, from Sullivan County as Vice-chair, and Crystal Abers, from Cattaraugus County as Secretary. Steve Hoover, from Chemung County returns as Treasurer.
Newly elected directors include:
- Mark Sachetti, Purchasing Director for Jefferson County since 1995 and past President of the NYS Association of Municipal Purchasing Officials.
- Robert Wood, 6-term Town of Oneonta Supervisor and former City of Oneonta Alderman, fills an at-large seat
- Rochelle M Stein, Genesee County Legislator and current president of the Western Inter-County Association.
- John LaPointe, Supervisor of the Washington County Town of Putnam and member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Association of Counties.
- Ellen Pratt, Sustainability Manager for Tioga County since 2001.
Retiring from the Board are long time member and Chairperson Michael Stamm, from Tompkins County; Richard Blythe, from Broome County; and Robert Edwards, from Hamilton County. Each were awarded Emeritus status as recognition for many years of excellent service.
MEGA Corporate Report
The MEGA Corporate Report is scheduled for completion in the beginning of July. The Corporate Report will showcase a handful of participants, will tell MEGA’s story and, more importantly, will highlight the value MEGA creates for its members. The report will have a shelf-life of 2-3 years and will be used as a marketing piece.
MEGA’s CCA Program on the Move
Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is a new opportunity for NYS cities, towns and villages. Municipal officials can facilitate better rates on energy for their residents and small businesses.
MEGA continues to work toward implementation of the first Community Choice Aggregation Program in NYS under the Public Service Commission’s CCA Order.
The CCA implementation process is moving slowly due to factors outside of MEGA’s control, principally compliance with a new set of utility data security requirements. Through close communication with the utilities and with support of a hired data security consultant MEGA has begun to develop a road map for compliance. Addressing the technical and administrative data security requirements of the utility will be costly.
Once these data security processes and protocols are in place MEGA will be able to issue our first CCA bid. Through this and other efforts, MEGA continues to play a significant role in shaping the development of CCA Policy in NYS.
Standard Energy Supply Program Procurements
Capitalizing on the very attractive commodity energy forward markets beyond October 2020, MEGA has taken the proactive initiative to solicit competitive bids for electricity and natural gas in August 2018. Typically, the request for proposals has been issued 15-18 months prior to the expiration of the existing Program Agreement. However, due to the compelling opportunity that currently exists in the market for MEGA participants to lock in future lower rates, the procurement schedule has been accelerated. The Board of Directors is expected to approve the Request for Proposals document at its July meeting in Corning.
Shared Services Update
The 2018 county-wide Shared Services initiative, designed with the goal of reducing property taxes, is moving into high gear for the 23 counties that postponed developing their savings plans until 2018. Seizing this new marketing opportunity, MEGA has contacted the chief elected official in each of these counties and offered our services in analyzing potential savings through participation in the MEGA program. This approach provides an opportunity to bring information about the benefits of participating in MEGA to a variety of new communities through the Shared Services planning process.
Participation in MEGA for the procurement of energy has been recognized by the Department of State as an eligible item for inclusion. We also offer to assist by calculating anticipated real dollar cost savings through a formula derived from 18 years of experience with municipal energy purchases.
Staff Bring Renewed Energy to MEGA Programs
Keeping MEGA’s programs accessible, economical and effective means bringing on staff and consulting experts who can expand the success of existing programs, while developing new directions and opportunities for our participants.
Louise Gava, CCA Project Leader. Louise has firsthand experience with the benefits of aggregated energy supply and renewable energy programs from her work with the Village of Canton and St. Lawrence County, her home for 12 years before joining MEGA. While in the North Country, she coordinated sustainability and energy programs in higher education, with the last two years focused on energy opportunities including remote-net metering, residential solar campaigns and microgrids. Louise is a graduate of St. Lawrence University.
Danielle McMullen, Client Relationship Manager, is responsible for new business development, building and managing client relationships, managing the sales process, and other projects as they arise. Previously, Danielle held positions in NYS government, and is a veteran of many different campaigns across the country. Danielle is a SUNY Potsdam alum.