Cities and towns in New York can now pool their energy-buying power to negotiate electricity contracts for their residents and businesses collectively rather than the traditional model of individual customers buying from a utility. New York is the seventh state to allow aggregated contracts, which give communities far more flexibilty in crafting services that meet customer demands. For example, 14 of the 20 communities that solicited community aggregation bids opted for 100 percent renewable energy. In Westchester County, N.Y., for example, the two utilities serving about 20 communities agreed to rates below last year’s. The group that launched the program expects consumers to save $4-5 million a year in a region with some of the highest energy prices in the country.