We've recently been getting a lot of questions from customers about Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs & how they fit into your Ag energy management strategy.
What's a CCA?
Per Wikipedia: "Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), also known as Community Choice Energy (CCE), is an alternative to the investor owned utility energy supply system in which local entities aggregate the buying power of individual customers within a defined jurisdiction in order to secure alternative energy supply contracts.
The CCA chooses the power generation source on behalf of the consumers. By aggregating purchasing power, they are able to create large contracts with generators, something individual buyers may be unable to do.
The main goals of CCAs have been to either lower costs for consumers or to allow consumers greater control of their energy mix, mainly by offering "greener" generation portfolios than local utilities."
Where Did CCA's Come From?
The first CCA's originated in Massachusetts in 1997. Currently, 6 other states allow CCA programs including Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, California and Rhode Island.
California passed CCA legislation in 2002 in response to rolling blackouts caused by failed deregulation of energy markets (remember those??).
What are the Latest CCA Trends?
CCA's have been spreading rapidly in California in the last few years. The current active CCA's are:
- Marin Clean Energy (Marin/Napa/Contra Costa Counties)
- Sonoma Clean Power (Sonoma/Mendocino Counties)
- Lancaster Choice Energy (City of Lancaster)
- CleanPowerSF (San Francisco)
- Peninsula Clean Energy (San Mateo County)
- Silicon Valley Clean Energy (Santa Clara County)
- Redwood Coast Energy Authority (Humboldt County)
- Monterey Bay Community Power (Monterey/San Benito/Santa Cruz Counties)
CCA's planning to roll out in 2018 & in the near future:
- Los Angeles County
- Placer County
- San Diego County
- Fresno County
- San Luis Obispo County
Is a CCA Right for Me? How Do I Join or Opt Out?
Generally, CCA customers should see reduced energy generation costs. Transmission services and costs are still maintained by their IOU.
After a CCA launches, customers are automatically opted in. Opting out is an option but may require additional fees.
How do CCA's Affect my Bills and Energy Data?
CCA customers still receive the same IOU bill with their CCA costs noted in the energy generation charge line item.
Energy billing and usage data is maintained by the IOU. However, energy generation rate plans can differ from their IOU's rate plans which can affect savings.
Where Can I Find More Info?
Here's a helpful article in Greentech Media that explains the history of CCA's, current and expected growth, as well as recent challenges.
And another article in the New York Times about recent CCA changes & ongoing debate in San Diego.
We're on top of this trend, in the process of updating our systems with CCA-specific data & will continue to update you with the latest information.