For the first time since it began rating sectors, Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded its overall outlook of the U.S. utility sector. The rating agency dropped credit from stable to negative for 24 utilities and from positive to stable for one utility, American Electric Power Company.
Meanwhile, Moody’s in late May offered a stable rating to Marin Clean Energy, the first community choice aggregation (CCA) program in California and its first rating of a CCA. Though it can be difficult for CCAs to establish positive credit ratings, Moody’s characterized Marin Clean Energy’s focus on clean energy and the growth potential for CCAs as strengths in its credit performance.
That vote of confidence in the growing CCA sector, taken with the mixed outlook for regulated utilities, is likely to be unsettling for proponents of the monopoly utility model.