In the era of electric deregulation customers in some states now have the ability to choose their electric supplier. But early indications are that the vast majority of consumers will choose not to choose. Who, then, should be their default supplier? In most states the incumbent utility has been given this huge pot of customers – California,Massachusetts and Ohio have decided that it should be the town or city who is responsible for serving these customers.
Community choice, or aggregation, will create community pools of electricity large enough to command leverage on the market, and with sufficient legal authority and financial flexibility to demand contracts from energy suppliers that satisfy local economic and environmental goals. In short, it places authority in the hands of those who will feel the impact of their decisions, making investment in renewable electricity much more likely.
Read our 2009 report providing an update on the status of community choice aggregation programs, Community Choice Aggregation: An Update.
Over 30 cities, towns and unincorporated areas have formed a community choice aggregation program in Marin County, CA. The program will provide ratepayers with significantly higher levels of renewable energy at rates comparable to their previous PG&E electric provider. Continue reading
In May 2004, San Francisco adopted an Energy Independence Ordinance using California’s Community Choice Aggregation law (Laws of California 2002 Chapter 838) as a purchasing and ratesetting authority, and will issue revenue bonds, called H Bonds, to finance a 360 MW public works project. The energy projects would be equivalent to more than a third of the city’s electrical capacity needs and on average would supply about 14 percent of the city’s electric consumption (MWhs) without arate increase. Continue reading
Ohio was the second state in the nation to offer community choice. Its community choice provision is modeled after that in Massachusetts’ 1997 electric restructuring law. Ohio has given local governments the right, after a vote by their city council, to become the default supplier. Continue reading
Massachusetts was the first deregulated state to decide that the town or city should be the default supplier in the event that customers do not choose a new electric supplier. Individual customers are always free to opt out and choose their own supplier, but if they do nothing their community represents them. Continue reading