Community Choice Aggregation

Power distribution in the United States operates under a natural monopoly system: due to high upfront costs, power utilities have exclusive coverage territories where they alone generate, distribute and transmit electricity. To expand the options, cities and municipalities across the country have started to use Community Choice Aggregation (CCAs) to procure renewable electricity on behalf of residents. By bundling demand and acting as a large energy buyer, a CCA can create large contracts, demanding cheaper rates and a cleaner energy mix.

California has emerged as the leader of community choice, as more than 160 towns, cities and counties have joined some 25 CCAs across the state, procuring more than 24 TWh from 2011 to 2018. Large cities such as San Diego and San Francisco have made CCAs the standard. However, smaller cities also have united in regional CCAs – for example, Silicon Valley Clean Energy, which services 13 smaller cities in the San Jose area.

Other US cities have followed suit. Boston, Massachusetts launched its Community Choice Electricity program in February 2021 and packages between 18% and 100% of local renewable energy to residents. In Ohio, one of the first US states to adopt CCAs (back in 2000), the City of Columbus voted overwhelmingly in favour of a green energy aggregation plan. Seven other states have enacted laws enabling CCAs, making it easier for residents to choose cheaper and cleaner energy.

Source: See endnote 90 for chapter 07.

Snapshot Map