HEADLINES

Yonkers Electric Bill Controversy

Yonkers residents recently received mail from Sustainable Westchester. It is a sustainable energy community electricity program established in 2016. Many Westchester Public officials serve on the board of directors https://sustainablewestchester.org/about/ The program claims to have a positive environment impact and boasts fixed rates compared to the variable Con Ed rates. Is it a scam or a slam?

Con Ed consumers will be automatically enrolled in the program, effective March 1, 2022 unless they chose to opt out. However, the request to opt out must be submitted by February 9th, 2022. 

Yonkers residents have complained that they were blind sided with the switch. The letters sent by Sustainable Westchester resembled junk mail and many recipients simply tossed the notice in the garbage. The problem is that without notification to opt out of the program, consumers will be automatically enrolled. Sources state that the Sustainable Westchester program will incur a 19% increase in electric bills despite their comparison with Con Ed's variable rates. In effect, the consumer will pay more if enrolled in the Sustainable Westchester program. 

It is not too late to act. If you do not want to participate in the program, these are the steps you must take. 

If you are presently taking power supply from an ESCo, or have blocked your account (see below), your electric service will NOT be affected by CCA.
 
If you presently are a full service Con Edison electric customer, i.e., have not signed a power supply contract with an ESCo, you can avoid CCA in two ways:
 
  1. Block Your Con Edison Account: At your request, Con Edison will block your account, keeping your supply service with Con Edison until such time as you request that your account be unblocked. To block your account, call the phone number on your bill where it says “For other information”. Work your way through the automated phone prompts by saying “it’s something else” until you reach a live person. Ask that person to block your account. You will be asked for the account number on the bill (find it under your name on the upper left corner of the bill), service address (find it under the account number on your bill), and the last 4 digits of your Social Security number to verify your identity. That’s all there is to it. OR
  2. Opt-Out: Before CCA takes effect, and any time thereafter, you may opt-out by filling out an online form here or by calling Westchester Power directly at 914-242-4725. They will ask you for the same information seen on that form: name of your utility, name on the account, email, phone, service address, and your city, state, and zip code.
In either case, the blocking or opt-out may take a full billing cycle to take effect. On the bill, look for “Your Supply Charges”. If it still mentions the name of an ESCo (e.g., Constellation Energy), the switch has not yet taken place. If no ESCo name appears, you’re back on Con Ed supply service.
 
It is against the law for any ESCO to automatically enroll you without your permission.  https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/liz-krueger/senator-kruegers-esco-slamming-bill-becomes-law

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