Community Choice Energy

Local, clean energy programs that meet community needs

Solar installation by Deposit Photos.

Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), also known as Community Choice Energy, is a local, not-for-profit government program that empowers communities to purchase electrical power on behalf of its residents. This puts more control in the hands of people, businesses, and local governments, allowing them to choose clean energy, administer energy efficiency programs, and more.

There are now more than 20 Community Choice Agencies in California serving 15 million people — about one-third of the population. These agencies are recognized as the purchasers of nearly all of the new renewable energy between now and 2030. 

Map of regions in various stages of adopting community choice energy. Credit: The Climate Center

The benefits of Community Choice Energy include:

  • Greater consumer choice;
  • Local control;
  • Programs that are more responsive to community needs;
  • Expanding the portfolio of renewable energy;
  • Local economic development and investment; and
  • Less climate pollution and better air quality.

Community Choice 101

Community Choice programs are opt-out programs, meaning that once a local government votes to form a Community Choice Agency, the constituents of that local government are automatically enrolled and can opt out if they wish.

Community Choice is only involved in the electrical generation decision-making and has no involvement with transmission and distribution — the poles, wires, and other physical infrastructure. The electrical utility also continues the metering and the billing for customers. The Community Choice Agency replaces the line item on the electric bill for “generation.”

When a community, or group of communities, decides it wants to pursue a Community Choice program, a typical first step is to identify funding in order to produce a technical study. The technical study analyzes the electrical load of the community and offers projections about the kinds of power mix and rates that might be possible. Once the early investigation is complete, the jurisdiction or group of jurisdictions must pass an ordinance stating the intention to form a Community Choice Agency. 

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