Part 3. Good Energy at KEMA: Municipal Energy Aggregation is Good Government

This is the third in an eight part series looking at Charles de Casteja, Managing Partner for the New York based municipal aggregation consulting firm Good Energy, at the 2013 KEMA Conference.


Many residents have a fear of “big government” when they think of municipal aggregation. This was a dilemma for Good Energy as it built a presence in Illinois. Because of this, de Casteja was left to figure out, “how do you overcome [the fear that] this is big government doing it again?”

A lack of choice rests at the heart of most residents’ fears. However, municipal aggregation adds choice, rather than taking it away due to the opt-out clause. This clause means that residents who do not wish to participate in the aggregation for any reasons may do so without penalty, allowing residents to use, or continue using their choice of supplier regardless of the aggregation.  Residents also have the opportunity to join the aggregation at a later date should they decide to do so. Municipal energy aggregation simply provides residents with an additional choice.

It is for these reasons that “in fact, utility was government,” according to de Casteja. Municipal energy aggregation, by contrast, “was choice. You actually didn’t have choices and hadn’t been making choices,” prior to aggregation. The local utility companies, whose rates could have been above market rates, were the primary energy provider for most customers.

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Click here for Part 4.

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