Frequently Asked Questions


How does Community Choice work?

A Program Administrator works with its partner municipalities to identify Program priorities and solicit proposals from qualified energy supply companies on behalf of their residents and small businesses. There is no commitment to participate in Community Choice throughout this process. The Community Choice program will only launch if one of the proposals meets the cost-saving and other requirements identified by the Administrator and the team of communities.

Is there proof of concept?

Yes. Community Choice was piloted in 21 communities in Westchester County in 2016. To date, the local program – Westchester Power – has saved over $17 million for 110,000+ homes and small businesses, with towns choosing energy from solar, wind, and hydropower with Green-e Renewable Energy Certificates.

Who is involved in Hudson Valley Community Power?

Hudson Valley Community Choice is a partnership between the participating communities, the Program Administrator (JouleCommunity), and the Local Organizer (Hudson Valley Energy) who provides: Program support to community leaders and customers, ongoing outreach and education, and other sustainability focused technical support services.

If I don’t do anything, will something happen to my utility bill?

Yes, unless you have already chosen to get electricity from an Energy Supply Company (ESCO).

What if I am enrolled in a utility bill assistance program?

You will only be automatically enrolled if the designated supplier offers a rate guaranteed to be lower than the rate charged by Central Hudson.

What if I have a time-of-use rate?

You will not be automatically enrolled. Should you wish to enroll in Hudson Valley Community Power, you should contact Central Hudson to understand your rights and obligations before opting in. You can optinto the program through an opt-in form or by calling our helpline directly. The opt-in form will be made available on the website when the program launches.

What does it cost?

Joule Community and Hudson Valley Energy are working with local cities, towns, and villages to establish a Community Choice program at no cost to the municipalities. Once the program is running, a small portion of customers’ electricity supply charges collected by the supplier will be remitted to Joule Community. This administrative fee supports the operation of the program.

How is Community Choice different from an ESCO?

ESCO customers typically must sign a contract and keep an eye on the electricity supply price, which could change. In Community Choice there is:

• No individual, customer contract

• An Administrator monitoring the Program

• A fixed price for the length of Community Choice Program

• A Local Organizer supporting the Program

Am I being slammed?

No. “Slamming” is a deceptive tactic wherein a person’s utility is switched without authorization. The Community Choice Program partners are working hard to make everyone aware of the Program before it launches, including how to opt-out of the Program, which can happen at any time at no cost.

How will it affect me?

If a new default electricity supplier is selected, all homeowners and small businesses that don’t already have a contract with an alternative supplier are automatically enrolled in the program. The only thing that will change on your electricity bill will be the electricity supplier; Central Hudson will continue to deliver energy to your home, bill you, and repair service interruptions. If you want to opt-out of the program, you can do so at any time without cost or penalty.

Why is this being done?

New York State is promoting Community Choice as a way to:

• Save citizens money

• Increase use of cleaner energy sources

• Increase consumer power and protection

The participating communities are exploring Community Choice to determine if it can help its residents.

What are the risks?

Joule Community and Hudson Valley Energy are working with local cities, towns, and villages to establish a Community Choice program at no cost to the municipalities. Once the program is running, a small portion of customers’ electricity supply charges collected by the supplier will be remitted to Joule Community. This administrative fee supports the operation of the program.

How can I opt-out?

When your local authority decides to move forward with the Community Choice program, you will receive an official notification in the mail letting you know what to expect. At that point it will be as simple as calling the Program Administrator’s hotline and letting them you prefer to stick with your default energy supplier.

How can I ensure that we’ll move forward with Community Choice in the Hudson Valley?

You can start by contacting your leaders to tell them that you support this effort to save money and promote cleaner energy. You can also join the movement and help spread the word!

How can I spread the word?

By getting in touch with us directly. We can provide you with material – including presentations, posters, and FAQs – that you can distribute within your immediate community. If you’re hosting an event, we are also happy to come and make a presentation. You can also follow us on social media and share our posts with your own following. Every effort counts.