What is a community choice aggregation?

Several cities in western Riverside County are considering joining a joint powers authority called Western Community Energy, which will allow them to purchase power from Southern California Edison at slightly lower rates than they would otherwise.

Western Community Energy is a community choice aggregation, or CCA. Many local governments throughout California are creating or joining CCAs. By the end of 2018, there will be 20 CCAs online in the state, including one in unincorporated Riverside County.

So what exactly is a CCA?

“It’s just purchasing power, the same as SCE does, utilizing their distribution system,” Barbara Spoonhour, director of CCA development for the Western Riverside Council of Governments and the organizer for Western Community Energy, said.

Power customers in local governments that join a CCA like Western Community Energy are automatically enrolled in the CCA but can opt out whenever they like and buy their power from SCE instead, if, for instance, SCE is able to offer lower rates at some point down the road.

The power would be transferred to customers using Southern California Edison’s own power lines, so the utility would still get its money there. But CCAs purchase the power directly from the source, and that’s where the savings come in – Edison is locked into long-term fixed contracts, and CCAs are not.

Customers in local cities could save as much as 4 percent, Spoonhour told city leaders at a recent Lake Elsinore City Council meeting.

Read more here: What is a community choice aggregation?