What is a CCA and why do we have one?

AB 117 permits cities, counties, or a Joint Power Authority (JPA) whose governing boards have elected to act as Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) to purchase and sell electricity on behalf of utility customers within their service area(s) or the Kings River Conservation District, the Sonoma County Water Agency, and any California public agency possessing statutory authority to generate and deliver electricity at retail within its designated jurisdiction.

Under CCA Service, a CCA is solely responsible for procuring and providing for their customers’ electric power needs (including ancillary services), ensuring resource adequacy and renewable portfolio requirements, and scheduling and settling with the CAISO. CCAs are required to meet certain requirements with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), in addition to meeting financial and technical requirements with us. The documentation contained within the CCA pages provides information a CCA needs to enroll and operate within our territory.

Many states passed CCA laws as part of electric restructuring legislation in the late 1990s and early 2000s. States that have passed CCA laws include California (2002), Illinois (2009), Massachusetts (1997), New Jersey (2003), Ohio (1999), and Rhode Island (1997). There are many reasons that a community may choose to develop a CCA, including the option to purchase more green power, reduce electricity cost, and provide power from more local sources. For 2013, approximately 2.4 million customers participating in CCAs that source renewable energy, totaling more than 9 million MWh of renewable energy.

Most CCAs are “opt-out” entities, meaning that the customer is by default part of the aggregation unless the customer opts-out. This opt-out arrangement has given community aggregation entities much higher participation rates than utility green power programs. The lowest participation rate for opt-out programs that offer a renewable energy component is around 75% compared to the highest participation rates in the low twenties for the most successful opt-in utility green power programs.