In California, Community Choice Aggregation (often called Community Choice Energy for simplicity) allows local government jurisdictions to set up a not-for-profit agency to procure electricity on behalf of its residents, businesses, and municipal governments. The promise of Community Choice Energy is the delivery of electricity that has a higher renewable energy content, fewer greenhouse gases (GHGs), at a price that meets or beats the local investor owned utitliy. Community Choice Energy (CCE) can also encourage the development of more local, renewable energy by purchasing an ever increasing amount of electrcity from sources closer to where the electricity is consumed. It is also possible for a CCE to own its own generation resources- thus reducing its reliance on energy markets.
CCE programs can develop energy efficiency programs tailored to its customers and offer incentives to reduce consumption and build more local generation.
The CCE program partners with the local investor owned utility (IOU), like PG&E. The IOU continues to deliver the electricity, provide service, and send out your monthly bills. The IOUs generally make their money from the "transmission" of the CCE-sourced electricity to your home or office, so there is no financial harm caused to the IOUs by this program.
This is how a typical CCE program works:
Three CCE programs have been established in California: Marin Clean Energy, Sonoma Clean Power, and Lancaster Choice Energy. Six other states also allow the formation of CCE programs - Massachusets, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.
Many more local programs are underway throughout the State of California.
In Alameda County, KyotoUSA - through our fiscal sponsor, the Sequoia Foundation - is providing consulting services to the Alameda County Community Development Agency in its effort to establish a County-wide CCE program. Learn more about the County's developing Community Choice program and sign up for the CCE listserv here.