Duke Energy

Community Choice Aggregation lets cities buy (cleaner and local) electricity in Bulk

WASHINGTON, D.C. — “In 30 states, citizens have just one choice for their electricity service.  It’s like the old communist truism: ‘You can have any color car you want, as long as it’s red.’  What if citizens could collectively shop around for electricity in bulk to get lower prices and cleaner, local power?

In six states they can with community choice aggregation.

Community choice aggregation is an alternative to (or complement to) electricity deregulation, allowing residential and commercial customers to choose a different electricity provider.  The linchpin, and difference from traditional deregulation, is that community choice aggregation allows municipalities to aggregate their customers and bid on their behalf, obtaining lower prices by buying in bulk.   It also allows for local determination of electricity supply without requiring a city to buy the distribution grid of the utility (although Boulder, CO, and some Massachusetts towns are considering that step).  Under community choice aggregation, the municipality is the electricity purchaser, but the utility retains control of the grid.  (It should be noted that while community choice is a step shy of full retail deregulation, every state with a CCA law has experienced full retail deregulation).

Community choice aggregation can provide a community a lot of power: to choose local electricity generation over remote, to choose local ownership over absentee, and to choose clean energy over dirty. And without having to finance and buy the local grid, it can come at a much lower financial and political cost.”

— John Farrell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance

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