Canton, Potsdam work to find cheaper power for residents

Published: Apr. 4, 2023 at 2:57 PM EDT
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TOWN OF POTSDAM, New York (WWNY) - The village of Canton and the town of Potsdam are teaming up to find cheaper power for residents - likely in the form of renewable energy.

The municipalities are working with 9 other communities in the state to broker a power deal through a company called Joule Community Power.

According to Potsdam Town Board member Lynn Hall, the agreement is part of a community choice aggregation program. It’s run through the state and allows communities to decide where their energy comes from and if it’s renewable energy.

“There can be 100 percent renewable, which means all the renewable energy comes from New York state or it can be 50 percent renewable which means 50 percent of the energy comes from New York state and 50 percent comes from out of New York state. So even though it’s renewable, it’s not New York state renewable,” said Hall.

Canton Village Trustee Klaus Proemm hopes residents could save money on energy, but not everyone will do that depending on how much power they currently use.

“The average might be 7 or 8 percent would be the average savings. There’s no guaranteed savings, but overall over the last couple of years, the communities that have chosen to do this have saved in that area of 5 to 10 percent,” he said.

The village of Canton and the town of Potsdam have not yet decided where their energy source will come from. But for community residents, they will have the option of opting out.

Joule Community Power’s CEO Jessica Stromback says the community choice aggregation program gives municipalities a choice when it comes to energy, which hasn’t always been the case.

“The benefit is that they’re able to access electricity supply at really competitive rates - usually renewable and with extra protective contracts. So otherwise, if they tried to find those on their own, they would not be able to do,” she said.

Leaders in the village of Canton and the town of Potsdam will look at options later this month and make a final decision in May.

Residents will be notified in June and have 60 days to opt out if they so choose before the renewable energy sources kick in in August.