by Al Galvéz, The Fresno Bee
In the early 2000s the Central Valley was a pioneer in evaluating a then obscure California policy known as Community Choice Aggregation, more commonly known as Community Choice Energy. The San Joaquin Valley Power Authority weathered technical, legal, and marketing efforts from PG&E, and was ultimately overcome by the economic calamity of 2008. In its effort to establish what would have been California’s first CCA, the Valley helped lay the groundwork for the movement that would follow.
Community Choice Energy, made possible by state law enacted in 2002, is now an established reality in California with 19 operational agencies, 8 million customers, participation from nearly half of all counties, and more than 100 cities in the state involved. Additionally, there is also a statewide association, CalCCA, that advocates Community Choice interests in the legislative and regulatory arenas. It is a movement that has blossomed rapidly in the past few years due to the compelling benefits Community Choice can bring to communities.