» About ECA

Our History

The Energy Cooperative of America’s roots date back to 1997 when it began serving deregulated natural gas customers as the Energy Cooperative of Western New York.  While its customer base has grown to encompass all regions of New York State and parts of Pennsylvania, and its services have expanded to include the marketing of deregulated electricity, renewable energy, demand response and energy management services, its focus on providing low-cost options to its customers in a transparent and no-frills manner has remained constant.

As the only truly not-for-profit retail energy marketer and service provider in the energy industry, the Energy Cooperative of America’s message is unique.  Whether purchasing commodity supply or value-added services like demand response and energy management, members may take comfort in the fact that the cooperative’s open-book model will fully disclose all of the underlying detail in every transaction.

"As the only truly not-for-profit retail energy marketer and service provider in the energy industry, the Energy Cooperative of America’s message is unique."

 This approach has attracted the attention of large commercial accounts along with national accounts across New York State and Pennsylvania and the company’s growth rate has been dynamic – including small users and high-volume customers. 

In addition to enabling the Energy Cooperative of America to enjoy long-standing relationships with its customers, its business model has allowed it to enjoy a favorable relationship with the New York Public Service Commission and the Pennsylvania Utility Commission.  This is more the exception than the rule in the energy industry, largely due to the fact that it is a complex and often times confusing business with very small margins.  The cooperative is proud of the fact that it has never been the subject of the types of negative publicity that seems to have become commonplace in the last few years.    

The Energy Cooperative of America provides its members with a “turn-key approach” to manage their utility budget.  Our conservative buying strategy and the advantage of “strength in numbers” has consistently outperformed the regulated utilities in New York.  In the past 18 years we have saved our members over $43.6 million dollars.  We view our Cooperative as a family and take care to treat all accounts personally.

Approved By

• New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC)
• New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (NYISO)
• Federal Emergency Regulatory Commission (FERC)
• Pennsylvania Utility Commission (PUC)
Member Of

• National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA)

Our Background

The Energy Cooperative of America (“ECA” or the “Cooperative”) has been delivering commodity savings to its members in an industry with very narrow operating margins for almost twenty years.  It has grown from a collection of natural gas customers within a single utility territory in Western New York to encompass 7,500 members in 10 utility territories across New York State and Pennsylvania.   

The Cooperative has succeeded in large part due to its ability to adhere to three key principles:

  1. Employing dedicated professionals and working with leading consultants delivers unparalleled performance;
  2. An open-book model is the only true way to prove that purchasing commodity from a deregulated supplier delivers savings when compared to the utility; and
  3. Delivering honest and unbiased information is essential to maintaining positive relationships with members.

 

by keeping its overhead at a minimum and relying upon word of mouth rather than costly advertising to grow its program, the Cooperative has been able to deliver $43.6 million in savings to its members since it began in 1997.

By aggregating the usage of its members ECA is able to secure favorable commodity pricing – through direct purchases from the wholesale markets and volume-driven discounts from suppliers.  While this may be similar to the approach taken by other marketers, the end results are far from the same. 

Rather than sponsoring sports teams or enriching corporate shareholders, ECA passes along all of the net savings that it achieves to its members.  In fact, by keeping its overhead at a minimum and relying upon word of mouth rather than costly advertising to grow its program, the Cooperative has been able to deliver $43.6 million in savings to its members since it began in 1997.

ECA is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of and elected by its members.  Its cross section includes commercial, municipal and professional individuals well-versed in the energy industry.  Unlike its competitors whose profits rise when their margins increase, there is no incentive for the Cooperative to charge above-market rates.  The business model is designed to provide the best possible price to its members and what better way to ensure this than to have a Board that is exclusively populated with representatives of its membership.  Everything in the model points toward the single goal of delivering the best prices and greatest benefits to the members.

In fact, the Energy Cooperative of America’s open book model is unique to the industry.  ECA is the only marketer that has consistently provided an energy savings report to its members.  The report compares the rate and total cost for commodity as a member to what would have been paid had the member remained a customer of the utility.  When combined with the fact that there is no fixed term for most of the Cooperative’s contracts,1 it is easy to see why member retention is so high.

 

1    The exception would be when a member wishes to enter into a fixed price contract for natural gas or electricity, which requires a commitment to a fixed term.

ECA Mission Statement

  • The Energy Cooperative of America, Inc. (ECA) is focused on the continued provision of energy to both gas and electric customers in markets across New York State at the lowest possible cost. This is dependent on maintaining the following levels of proficiency and competitive advantage:

  • Continue to minimize the overhead and operational costs associated with running a multimillion dollar cooperative whose growth remains constant in the natural gas market and continues to show a rapid rate of increase in the electrical market;

  • Maintain the level of reporting the shared information with customers that has allowed ECA to enjoy a remarkable rate of member retention, and a strong referral base through the active involvement of its members;

  • Maintain the relationship with Fluent Energy, the energy procurement specialists that enables ECA to offer consistent savings over and above the competition, and work with them to continue to maximize the savings of the members while keeping the same level of service;

  • Responsible growth into new regions and markets thereby permitting ECA to increase its profitability, resulting in increased savings to its members and greater financial stability; and

  • Continue to maximize the return on investment for the members by increasing proficiency in the internal operations of the cooperative — the account management, billing and marketing areas particularly — without the addition of personnel unless supported by the increased income necessary to offset the added administrative costs.

  • Clearly, the focus of ECA is to maintain its “Not-for-Profit mentality” in the face of strong pressure from an industry that continues to exhibit the characteristics of the glorified monopoly that it once was. The cooperative resists the attempts of commodity providers to pass on costs to members that are not justified, and refrains from the approach taken by many marketers or brokers who focus simply on maximizing their individual return in the new markets created by deregulation. Passing on the greatest possible savings that are available in the deregulated market is what will continue to set the cooperative apart from its competition, and allow it to remain the best source for low-cost energy.

Energy Cooperative of America
2016 Board of Directors

Executive Officers
Dan Jaszka, Jr. – Chairman of the Board
Al Coppola – Vice President
John Marsh – Treasurer
Steven Kemp – Secretary

Board Members
Stuart Alexander
Michael Boyd
Jim Morgan
Basil J. Piazza
Lou Terragnoli

Board Counsel
John Ottaviano, Esq.

Management & Staff
Joseph Mascaro – Executive Director
Margie Castillo – Office Manager
Sharon Lederhouse – Office Assistant


 

Energy Cooperative of America
                1408 Sweet Home Road • Suite 8
                Amherst, NY 14228

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Expert Service Assistance

Our on-staff natural gas and electricity procurement experts are
available to answer your questions about your energy usage.


Tel (716) 580-3506  |  (800) 422-1475
  Fax (716) 932-7337
  eMail info@ecamerica.org