By Shawn Marshall
Have you heard? … about a local energy solution called Community Choice Aggregation (CCA)? Currently enabled in six states – CA, IL, OH, NJ, RI, and MA – CCA leverages the market power of group purchasing, consumer energy choice, and local decision-making. It enables local governments to buy and/or develop power on behalf of their residents, businesses and municipal facilities. CCA creates a functional partnership between municipalities and existing utilities. It has the proven ability to lower electricity rates, rapidly green the grid, and slash greenhouse gas emissions.
Since our last national gathering of energy aggregation stakeholders in 2012, the CCA landscape has continued to be a dynamic and fascinating place, with rapid expansion in the midwest and growing popularity in the northeast. Illinois now takes the lead with over 650 aggregated communities and nearly 80% of its residential population served by CCA. The City of Chicago recently aggregated nearly 1 million energy customers and signed a no coal/no nuke contract, slashing their carbon footprint by 16% for the term of the contract. Ohio has also seen continued growth in CCA with its largest city, Cincinnati, taking the lead in greening their energy supply through renewable energy credits from in-state resources. California continues its push toward more CCA programs and leads the way in the integration of clean energy resources, innovative energy efficiency programs, and the resulting reduction in GHG emissions. CCA is starting to gain traction in the State of New Jersey, with electricity rate reductions averaging 14% in the first wave of contracts there. Massachusetts is poised to grow with at least ten aggregation programs under review at the MA Department of Public Utilities, and New York is running pilot legislation that is currently making its way through the NY legislature. The sleeper is Rhode Island, which remains limited to municipal and school facility aggregation, but whose statute permits residential and business aggregation. True, there are process amendments that would improve their statute, but this is a State with untapped potential.
Come and learn more! Registration is now open for LEAN Energy’s National CCA Summit, November 11-13 in Chicago, IL. The Summit is the only annual education and networking conference of decision-makers and stakeholders in the field of CCA. http://www.leanenergyus.org/2013-national-cca-summit-chicago.
We’d love to see you in Chicago and we invite you to check us out at www.LEANenergyus.org. Come join us!
Shawn Marshall is Founder and Director of LEAN Energy US, a non-profit organization dedicated to the transition to a clean energy economy through community choice aggregation. She was a founding board member of Marin Energy Authority, the first CCA in California and the first clean energy CCA in the U.S.