Community Choice Is Driving California’s Precocious Energy Revolution

California is on track to meet its clean-energy goals a decade early thanks in part to communities demanding and delivering renewable energy faster and cheaper than utilities can, according to a report released this morning.

A growing number of Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) in California are not only delivering a higher percentage of renewable energy than utilities, they’re also causing utilities to offer a higher percentage, according to the report by the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation.

“The rise of CCAs has had both direct and indirect positive effects on overall renewable energy consumed in California, leading the state to meet its 2030 RPS targets approximately ten years in advance,” write Luskin Center director JR DeShazo, and co-authors Julien Gattaciecca and Kelly Trumbull.

CCAs allow communities to make their own agreements with energy providers. California’s CCAs offer a minimum of 37 percent renewable energy, a maximum of 100 percent. They average 52 percent renewable energy.

Investor-owned utilities offer renewable content between 32 and 44 percent.

CCAs only make up about 10 percent of California’s energy market, but they’ve had an outsized influence. As they pull customers away from traditional utilities, the utilities find themselves offering a higher percentage of renewables because of long-term contracts they’ve signed with renewable-energy producers.

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