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:
Many more local programs are underway throughout the State of California. For current information on existing and early stage CCE programs, please see the Clean Power Exchange website.
Source: LEAN Energy US