The Rochester People’s Climate Coalition is pursuing the development of Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) as a way to use the market to grow our local renewable supply. We began exploring this issue in September 2015 and formed a committee on CCA in December. Our committee members have begun meeting with governmental leaders to inform them of this policy option.
According to the federal Energy Information Administration, the greenhouse gas emissions for New York State are divided roughly equally between heating buildings, generating electricity, and transportation. In order to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, society will need to electrify the heating and transportation sectors while also generating all of our electric supply from renewable energy technologies.
In practical terms, this means that we need to use electricity much more efficiently, with conservation being a priority, and also to develop the capacity to produce more renewable electricity in order to meet the new demand.
Read a Democrat and Chronicle guest column on Community Choice Aggregation.
What is Community Choice Aggregation?
- In simplest terms, this is a buying club. Local municipalities decide to join to benefit their citizenry.
- The energy demand of residents and small businesses in the municipality are aggregated together, and the large number of consumers creates more leverage in negotiating electric rates and energy supply choices.
How will it benefit our community?
- The goal is to negotiate lower fixed-rates and a cleaner energy supply.
- The decision-making for electric supply is relocated to local municipal governments.
- CCA programs can be designed to grow local jobs by encouraging the growth of local renewable energy production.
How does it work?
- Local villages pass a law allowing the community to participate. This begins the minimum 60-day public education plan to inform/educate constituents. (Public education will happen prior to the adoption of law also.)
- Local village officials can work with an administrator to develop terms.
- Local villages would commit to CCA after the RFP bid process.
- All small electric users are automatically opted-in to the program and given a simple method for choosing to opt out.
- Consumers who already have contracts to purchase electric supply from energy services companies (ESCOs) are not automatically opted in, but may join at the end of an ESCO contract period.
- Large electric users (governments, large commercial operations, industry, educational institutions) have the ability to opt into the program.
- CCA programs are approved and authorized by the State’s Public Service Commission.
- Depending on the CCA design, consumers may have the opportunity add to the basic service, by participating in other programs such as energy demand management.
- Purchase of energy from new local large-scale solar projects can be guaranteed through the terms of the CCA contract, increasing investor confidence in the projects.
What you can do
- Let your town supervisor or mayor know that you would like them to consider creating a CCA
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or Sue Hughes-Smith at email@example.com