Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) allows one or more cities and/or counties to form a service area that provides for the purchase of power generation of customers within that service area. Transmission, distribution, customer service and billing remain the same, and are delivered through the existing utility (SCE). Customers within this service area can opt out of participating in the Community Choice program and continue to receive their power generation services through the existing utility. AB117.
Non-profit municipal utilities, or munis, provide highly reliable electricity supply at rates averaging 15 to 20 percent below the rates of traditional investor-owned utilities. Like munis, Community Choice programs (CCAs) offer cost efficiencies, flexibility, and local control. But unlike munis, they do not face the capital-intensive and open-ended challenge of valuing, purchasing, and maintaining expensive utility infrastructure. Community Choice energy offers a third approach that exists between the investor-owned (often monopoly) utility and a municipal (or member coop) utility. Community Choice programs reap the benefits of controlling power supply and generation without the financial drag of purchasing and maintaining sometimes out-of-date utility infrastructure. In this way, it is a great option for municipalities who don’t want the financial and operational burdens of owning their own utility. (courtesy of Local Energy Aggregation Network LEAN)
Because CCA is revenue-based—not government financed—Community Choice programs require no public subsidy to fund or operate, nor do they require a new revenue stream. The revenues that support energy aggregation already exist. That is, the electricity rates that consumers pay to a retail electric supplier or an investor-owned utility are redirected to support the group purchase of electricity through CCA.
Here’s the “Assessing Options to Deliver Carbon Neutral Electricity to Hermosa Beach” report from the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability’s Environmental Science Practicum students presented their findings to the Hermosa Beach City Council on June 10. The team recommended that the City of Hermosa Beach work with other cities to form a Community Choice Aggregation program in the short term, with a long term goal of establishing a municipal utilities district that will make smartgrid upgrades needed to accommodate more rooftop solar generation.
Here are the 15 cities who are candidates for participation in the South Bay Clean Power JPA.