Opinion: Opting out

Dear Editor, 

The Village of Owego decided to transfer existing residential electric services to Constellation, an Exelon company, under the Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Program. Since I am not in agreement with this decision, it was necessary for me to communicate in writing directly with Constellation of my desire to Opt-Out of the CCA program in order to remain with my current supplier, NYSEG. 

I suspect many individuals receiving the Village’s notification of the change won’t take the time to read or understand what was decided on their behalf. Consequently, they may find their electric supply costs with Constellation to be significantly higher than it was with their previous supplier. To some this won’t matter, especially if they’re supporters of the “Green New Deal” sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Others, may well be in for “sticker shock’. 

Now to some facts: Mayor Baratta’s letter of May 13, 2019 states NYSEG’s average electric supply rate for the months of February 2018 through January 2019 was $0.05265/kWh. Constellation’s fixed rate will be $0.0542/kWh through June 2021. I have no idea where Baratta obtained the average NYSEG supply rate he referred to in his letter. I’ve checked my NYSEG electric bills for the same months referenced and found only two instances where electric supply rates exceeded the average rate he quoted. My actual electric supply billing rates for February 2018 through January 2019 were: .046, .043, .053, .073, .046, .048, .051, .048, .050, .046, .044 and .048. The rates for February through May, 2019 were: .052, .044, .039 and .038.

Perhaps the motivation of the Mayor and Trustees was to promote their support of the “Green New Deal”? This seems to be right in line with the Village’s ban on fracking and on extremist environmental groups’ claims about fossil fuels and their damaging effects on our environment.  

Whether one likes it or not, fossil fuels will be essential to our way of living for the next 30-50 years. Cost effective alternative forms of clean energy will be developed, but during this transition, the burning of clean natural gas, which we have in abundance, only makes sense. Don’t look to see airplanes, cargo ships, etc. powered by solar or wind turbines any time soon.

While extremist environmentalists would have you believe the world will end in 12 years unless you take immediate action to implement their agenda, some of us still rely on facts, reasoning and logic to make their decisions.


Dieter G. Dauber

Owego, N.Y.

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