Community Choice 101
Community Choice Energy, formally known as Community Choice Aggregation, is a local, not-for-profit governmental program that buys and may generate electrical power on behalf of its residents, businesses, and governmental entities. The agency administering the Community Choice program may also elect to administer energy efficiency programs and other greenhouse gas emission reducing activities.
There are many reasons why a community might want to pursue Community Choice energy.
Potential benefits include:
- enhanced consumer choice
- local control
- expansion of renewable energy portfolios
- local economic development
- faster progress toward achieving a community’s environmental goals.
Community Choice programs are opt-out programs, meaning that once a local government votes to form a Community Choice agency, the constituents of that local government are automatically enrolled, and may opt out if they wish.
Community Choice is only involved in the electrical generation decision-making and has no involvement with transmission and distribution. The electrical utility also continues the metering and the billing for customers. The Community Choice agency replaces the line item on the electric bill for “generation.”
When a community, or group of communities, decides it wants to pursue a Community Choice program, a typical first step is to identify funding in order to produce a technical study. The technical study analyzes the electrical load of the community and offers projections about the kinds of power mix and rates that might be possible.
Once the early investigation is complete, the jurisdiction or group of jurisdictions must pass an ordinance stating the intention to form a Community Choice agency. Read more about getting started with a program.
More information can be found at the California Public Utilities Community Choice page.
En español: Que es una CCA?