Why should I care about Community Choice Aggregation (CCA)?
CCA provides a 4-prong array of benefits to local communities:
- Lower electric prices, price stability, local economic activity and jobs (read more)
- Fossil fuel reduction and rapid acceleration of renewable energy (read more)
- Individual choice of local electricity options in contrast to utility monopoly pricing (read more)
- Resilient power supply (read more)
What is CCA?
Community Choice Aggregation is a game changing energy program intended to accelerate the use of renewable energy; provide customer choice and lower costs for electricity customers.
The name is wonky but the concept is simple. Group purchasing to lower prices. Specifically, a group purchase of the energy that powers electricity. Before Community Choice Aggregation, consumers had little or no choice about their electricity supply. The utility contracted with a supplier and passed the cost on to the consumer. Community Choice Aggregation is a new system that allows local governments to offer an alternative to the utility. Municipalities contract for a bulk purchase of electricity on behalf of all consumers in that municipality and pass along the savings generated by a “bulk buy”. In other works, they pool (or aggregate) the electricity load in order to purchase power in bulk on behalf of their residents and small businesses.
Aggregating consumers on a large scale creates market clout. This market clout enables municipalities to negotiate lower, more stable rates with private suppliers and to pass the savings along to consumers. It also allows the municipality to negotiate an energy supply option that is 100% renewable — solar, wind and hydro — and no fossil fuels.
Opportunity is knocking!
- The New York State Public Service Commission decided to pilot CCA as a tool in meeting statewide clean energy goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, develop local renewable energy generation, and transition to a clean energy economy. Link to REV
- This spring, New York State launched its first CCA program under the name Westchester Power, with 20 municipalities representing 110,000 participating customers. Fourteen of those municipalities, chose 100% renewable energy — solar wind and hydro, and no fossil fuels — as their default electric power supply. (read more)
- Twenty days after the Westchester CCA was launched, the New York State Public Service Commission authorized CCA expansion for the entire State.
- All eyes are on New York State’s aggressive CCA expansion and related clean energy goals as a model for the nation.