Opinion: Keep an eye out for the letter

Dear Editor,

Residents and small business owners in the Villages of Owego, Newark Valley and Spencer, and the Town of Owego whose electricity is supplied by NYSEG and who do not have time-of-use rates will receive an important letter in mid-May from their municipality.

What is so important about the letter? Your response to this letter will determine whether your electricity supply is 100 percent New York State renewably-sourced (hydroelectric) or a fossil-nuclear mix with less than 20 percent renewables. The price difference between these two plans is negligible – less than a penny per kilowatt-hour. Both plans are provided by Constellation NewEnergy, Inc.

For simplicity, I am going to assume that, given the choice between these two plans, one renewable, the other a fossil-nuclear mix, very close in price but very different in impact, most people would choose the renewable plan. 

How to make the choice? Those who live in the Village of Owego need not do a thing. The Village of Owego trustees are enlightened enough to have selected on their constituents’ behalf the renewable electricity plan as the default. This low cost, fixed-rate plan will take effect in July of this year and continue two years until June, 2021.

On the other hand, those living outside the Village in the Town of Owego and those living in the Villages of Newark Valley and Spencer need to ‘opt up’ to the renewable plan. This is easy to do and costs less than a penny per kilowatt-hour more. It is a fixed-rate, two-year plan as well.

Watch for the letter in your mailbox on or around May 15 and make the choice that aligns with your values.


Gerri Wiley

Owego, N.Y. 

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