Good Question: Are these letters from RG&E a scam?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) —Lori from Penfield asked News10NBC’s Brennan Somers: Why are we getting letters from "RG&E" regarding Community Choice Aggregation? Is this a scam?

No, it’s not.

Lori isn’t the only person getting those letters. tens of thousands of RG&E customers got them recently. We’ve talked about it a lot for families in Rochester. The city launched a new renewable energy initiative this year— Rochester Community Power.

These programs are known as a "CCA" which is short for "Community Choice Aggregation."

Cities can use CCAs to take a group of residents and businesses and use their collective buying power to get bids for a fixed rate on a supply of energy. For Rochester, it’s 100% green energy.

News10NBC’s Brennan Somers: "In the most basic sense, what’s different here? people will still get RG&E service but it’s not the direct supplier?"

Sarah Warren, Spokesperson for RG&E: "So an energy services company offers a difference of energy supply to customers. RG&E will still continue to deliver power, maintain lines, respond to outages, and customers will still get one bill from rg&e if they choose to participate in the program."

That’s an important point. In these programs, everyone is enrolled automatically. You have to choose to opt out. You can leave at any time, and there’s no contract or exit fee.

If you stay in will this save you any money?

Somers: "What does it mean for the bottom line on the bill each month? Is it going to be higher/lower or what?"

Warren: "Usually, CCAs have fixed energy supply pricing. I would encourage customers to look into the pricing difference between the two on their own and make their decision. They can get RG&E supply pricing online and go directly to Roc Community Power’s website to learn more about how the CCA is pricing their energy supply."

At the time of the bid, the city told us the cost of this program was 15% lower than what you could find in the open market. It also says "While our large customer base assures competitive bids from suppliers, fixed-price contracts do not guarantee that rates will be lower in
any given month or save money throughout the contract period."

Enrollments for Rochester customers were staggered in August and September. You’ll be able to take the new bill and compare it to previous monthly charges.

It’s not just Rochester doing this, by the way. Brighton, Canandaigua, and Victor all have CCAs. Penfield is also moving ahead with one. There’s a public info session for those Penfield customers coming up next week.

Other customers outside those groups may occasionally get a notice that sounds similar to this telling you as a New Yorker, you have the right to pick where your energy supply comes from.

You can sign up for an Energy Services Company (ESCO).


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