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What Is Community Choice Aggregation?

An innovative approach to utility management explained

Green energy has never been more popular or accessible. In the pursuit of a cleaner and more sustainable energy future, communities across the world are exploring innovative approaches to take control of their energy sources and reduce their collective greenhouse gas emissions. Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), also known as Community Choice Energy, is one such model that empowers communities to make informed energy decisions and foster a greener and more resilient future for all. We’re discussing what CCA is, how it works, and the benefits it offers for local communities. 

What is Community Choice Aggregation (CCA)?

Community Choice Aggregation is a program that enables local governments, such as cities or counties, to procure and provide electricity to their residents and businesses. Under this model, communities can pool the electricity demand of their constituents and establish a local governmental entity or agency to procure energy on their behalf. This entity takes on the responsibility of sourcing energy from various suppliers, including renewable energy providers, and determines the energy mix and pricing options for the community.

How does Community Choice Aggregation Work?

  1. Electricity Procurement: The CCA entity is responsible for procuring electricity supply for the community. This involves negotiating contracts with energy suppliers, including renewable energy developers, to ensure a diversified and sustainable energy portfolio.
  2. Consumer Choice: Through CCA, community members have the option to participate in the program or opt-out and continue receiving electricity from the traditional utility provider. Those who do participate have access to a variety of energy options, including renewable energy sources, often at competitive prices.
  3. Energy Delivery and Billing: Although the CCA entity procures the electricity, the delivery and billing of the electricity remains the responsibility of the local utility company. The existing utility infrastructure continues to transmit the electricity to customers' homes and businesses, while the CCA entity handles the sourcing and pricing aspects.

The Benefits of Community Choice Aggregation:

  1. Local Control and Decision-Making: CCA gives communities the power to make decisions about their energy sources. By establishing a CCA program, communities can prioritize renewable energy procurement, promote local economic development, and customize energy programs based on the unique needs and values of their constituents.
  2. Increased Renewable Energy Deployment: CCAs often prioritize the procurement of renewable energy, including solar, wind, and geothermal sources. By shifting to cleaner energy sources, communities can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to statewide and national clean energy goals.
  3. Competitive Pricing and Rate Stability: CCAs have the potential to offer competitive electricity rates and stable pricing options. By leveraging the collective purchasing power of the community, CCAs can negotiate favorable contracts with energy suppliers, potentially providing cost savings and rate stability for participants.
  4. Local Economic Development: Community Choice Aggregation can stimulate local economic development by supporting the growth of renewable energy industries within the region. This can create job opportunities, attract clean energy investments, and enhance the local economy.
  5. Customized Programs and Energy Services: CCAs can design energy programs tailored to the specific needs and priorities of the community. This may include incentives for energy efficiency, demand response initiatives, community solar projects, or other innovative programs that promote energy conservation and local resilience.

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