When a community decides it wants to pursue Community Choice, one of the first official acts is to file a “declaration to pursue” Community Choice. The declaration is sent to the incumbent utility and to the CPUC.
Once a local government has studied the pros and cons of Community Choice and has evaluated it in a public discussion, in order to proceed to the implementation phase, an ordinance must be adopted, making it official.
In cases where two or more jurisdictions decide to join together to form a Community Choice agency, a Joint Powers Agreement is drafted and signed in order to form a Joint Powers Authority or JPA. Examples of Community Choice Joint Powers Authorities include MCE Clean Energy and Sonoma Clean Power.
Although not required under Community Choice law, most communities opt to work with experts in the field to produce a technical or feasibility study. Technical studies analyze the electrical load and offer some projections about possible power mixes and rates. Listed are the first three operational CCAs, and a table including all known technical studies follows.
Local Energy Resource Development Plans (aka “buildout plans”)
Also not required under Community Choice law, buildout plans evaluate local resources and assess opportunities for development. Buildout plans help to optimize community benefits of Community Choice by opening up avenues for economic development, job creation, etc.
In order to launch Community Choice energy service, the agency must file an Implementation Plan with the California Public Utilities Commission. The Implementation Plan serves several a basic function of informing the CPUC about the jurisdiction or jurisdictions that will be served, the electrical load, governance structure, and several other essential pieces of information about the operations of the agency. It is not the plan that includes all of the complementary products, projects, and programs that a Community Choice agency might choose to offer.