For years, the U.S. has been served by four forms of electric utility: investor-owned, cooperative, municipal, and federal (e.g. Tennessee Valley Authority).
This list is changing.
Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is a law passed in several states that allows cities and/or counties to join together and form a retail utility that will serve all electric customers in its jurisdiction by default (an opt-out rather than an opt-in process). The CCA framework guarantees a customer base for public entities desiring to provide electricity to homes and businesses in their jurisdiction and may result in lower costs, improved conservation, and increased renewable energy generation for CCA participants.
This brief summarizes the active CCA laws and programs around the country, and discusses the benefits and risks of communities pursuing aggregation.
Publicly-owned utilities don’t have to make a profit, don’t have to pay taxes and don’t have to pay exorbitant salaries for executives (PG&E’s CEO made $12 million in 2007). All of these cost savings can be passed on to customers.
— Tam Hunt, Community Environment Council, CA