Community Choice Aggregation Provides Renewable Energy at Reduced Costs

POWER Magazine

Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs have become quite prominent in communities across California, and have begun to spring up in other states including Illinois, Massachusetts, and Ohio. Through CCA, communities can purchase electricity on behalf of residents and businesses, in place of investor-owned utilities such as Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison.

One of the places where CCA is providing benefits is in the San Francisco Bay area. East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), a not-for-profit public agency, operates a CCA program for Alameda County and 14 incorporated cities, serving more than 1.7 million residential and commercial customers in the area. EBCE initiated service in June 2018 and expanded to the cities of Pleasanton, Newark, and Tracy in April 2021.

As a guest on The POWER Podcast, Nick Chaset, CEO of EBCE, explained some of the benefits his agency provides to customers. “There are three categories of benefits that we really focus on. One is cost savings. So, since we started operations in 2018, we have delivered upwards of $30 million in bill savings to our customers, relative to what the cost of electricity from PG&E would have been, if they had stayed on that service,” he said. “The second is clean energy. So, we have delivered higher levels of renewables over the course of our operations, on average. Since we started operating in 2018, I believe we’re somewhere in that 5–7% more renewable range—and that can be more or less than that average depending on how much renewable energy PG&E ends up actually buying—but on average, it’s been in that 5–7% more renewable.”

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