What is an ESCO? ESCO stands for Energy Supply Company. Is it true that I can shop for my electricity supplier? New Yorkers have had the opportunity to shop for their electricity supplier since the late 1990s. The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) started by ‘unbundling’ your energy bill, separating charges for delivering energy to your home from charges for the energy itself. Although you are able to shop for your electricity and select your favorite ESCO, about 80% of residential customers allow NYSEG to supply their electricity. No matter from whom who you choose to buy energy, your local utility will continue to deliver your electricity and respond to service interruptions and outages. You will still pay your utility for these services. What fuel sources create my electricity if NYSEG is my supplier? If you are a NYSEG customer living in Zone C, more than 40% of your electricity is sourced from fossil fuels. Less than 20% is sourced from hydro (water), wind, and solar combined.
What are good reasons for me (and everyone) to consider signing up with a 100% renewable energy ESCO as supplier rather than NYSEG?
Public demand is essential in creating renewable energy infrastructure.
You know that you are doing the right thing for yourself and future generations.
My utility sent me a list of over 100 ESCOs and their phone numbers. How could I possibly 1) select one that offers 100% renewable energy? and 2) select the one best suited to my needs and values? The chart is an attempt to help you answer these two questions. It was developed two years ago by Gerri Wiley, a volunteer with HeatSmart, and is updated by the 15th of each month. Why were these ESCOs selected? The criteria for selection include:
100% renewable energy delivered to the grid
Price per kWh is no higher than that of the ‘premiere company’ that meets all of the other criteria
The company’s menu of choices includes either a 12 month plan (so that customers can make this choice an easy, calendar event) or a zero month plan (cancel any time without penalty).
No substantive negative reviews
What are some factors to consider in my decision? When looking at this chart, consider the value of:
local (NYS and environs) energy production
A company supplying exclusively renewable energy
Whether or not a fixed rate is important to you
Whether a cancellation charge poses a problem for you
What if my electricity is generated from solar panels on or off my property?
There are at least some times during the year when your electricity load is not entirely powered by the solar panels. The ESCO can supply the difference.