Where is community choice aggregation available?
Last updated 1/8/2020
Community choice aggregation (CCA) is a growing energy trend that allows local governments to purchase electricity on behalf of residents, businesses, and municipal accounts in their area. CCAs are currently available in eight states, most of which have a deregulated electricity market. This means that market participants outside of utility companies are able to generate and deliver power, a requirement for CCA to function
States with approved CCA legislation
Below are the states that have approved CCA legislation as of January 2020:
California approved CCAs in 2002. While the majority of states with CCAs have entirely deregulated electricity markets, California is one of two CCA states that has a partially-regulated electricity market. The state’s current regulations allow for CCAs in investor-owned utility (IOU) territories, but it’s the only alternative option to purchasing electricity from the utility. Standard CCAs in the Golden State offer electricity service provided by up to 55 percent renewable energy, or you can opt into a 100 percent renewable option for a slightly higher rate.
Illinois began supporting CCAs, also referred in-state as municipal energy aggregation (MEA), in 2009. Local governments in the state must provide an opt-out process for customers in areas with new CCA plans. Out of the eight states that currently have CCAs, Illinois has the highest number of individual communities participating in aggregation plans.
Massachusetts was the first state to pass CCA legislation, doing so as part of the Utility Restructuring Act of 1997. Similar to Illinois’s legislation, the State of Massachusetts mandates that all CCAs must have opt-out provisions.
New Jersey approved CCA legislation in 2003, but the first CCA options for consumers did not move forward until 2012. This was largely due to the fact that the state’s original opt-in requirement. However, new legislation passed in 2012 allows CCAs to have automatic enrollment with opt-out options, enabling much wider adoption of CCAs throughout the Garden State.
In 2014, Governor Cuomo of New York announced plans to develop CCAs in the state as a part of the larger Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative. Many communities are enacting CCAs as a way to reach the Empire State’s ambitious renewable energy target of sourcing 50 percent of electricity from renewable energy by 2030.
Ohio is an early adopter of CCAs, initially passing CCA legislation in 1999. CCAs in Ohio, referred to locally as Governmental Electricity Aggregation (GEA), require approval through local ballot measures. Ohio’s largest aggregator, Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC), covers more than 220 communities.
Rhode Island, a longtime supporter of alternative electricity providers, passed an amendment in 2002 that allowed for municipalities throughout the state to create opt-out CCA plans. Their current aggregation program, known as the Rhode Island Energy Aggregation Program (REAP), does not aggregate electricity energy purchases for residents. Rather, REAP only currently purchases electricity for municipal accounts, such as schools or government buildings.
The Commonwealth of Virginia passed legislation approving municipal and state aggregation in 1999, but with an opt-in clause. Similar to California, Virginia is a partially-regulated, rather than fully deregulated, electricity market. Despite the early approval of CCAs there are currently no energy aggregation plans available for residences or businesses in the state.
Which states are next?
The states most likely to enact CCA legislation are those that have deregulated or partially regulated electricity markets. Legislation for CCAs has been introduced in Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Oregon. The Local Energy Aggregation Network has up-to-date information about the status of CCA legislation and programs throughout the country.