CCAs help communities understand the energy profiles of all households and small businesses in aggregate. This helps a municipality design energy programs that are tailor-made for every citizen.

What is CCA?

Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is a legally established organizational form that enables a municipality or a group of municipalities to take control of their energy supply and energy policy. By joining a CCA, cities, towns, and villages can:

  • become more resilient in the face of the climate crisis

  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions by purchasing solar, hydro, and wind

  • lead healthier lives with more energy-efficient buildings

  • save money by electrifying electrifying transportation, businesses, homes, and public infrastructure

By utilizing the full power of the CCA model, member municipalities can advance their energy transition, protect their communities, improve their neighborhoods, create jobs, and gain the knowledge we all need to confront the coming climate disruption.

Under a CCA, the local electric utility continues to operate the power grid and deliver electricity and gas to residents and businesses. The utility also handles the billing. But it is the CCA, guided and controlled by community members and their elected representatives, that decides what source of supply the power comes from—and can be a tool to achieve 100% renewable generation to serve the electric supply of the CCA members.

CCA is an “opt-out” program, which means that eligible residents and small businesses are included unless they "opt-out" and choose to remain with their local utility for supply. Municipal review, extensive public outreach and education ensures that everyone is aware of the new program and of their free decision to be part of it.

CCA History

The very first CCA was created in Massachusetts in 1997. Since then, CCA laws have grown to cover one-half U.S. annual electricity demand in nine states, with over 1,500 municipalities so far and are serving over thirty million Americans!

In 2016, Communities for Local Power helped bring CCA to New York, making New York the seventh state in the nation to offer municipalities a way to increase local control over their energy supply and offer customers stable, predictable rates that are typically lower and greener than what their local utility offers. Today, 148 municipalities in New York have passed local laws that set them on the path to CCA’s many benefits.

The first CCAs in New York were limited to purchasing electricity supplies. Recently, some have begun to incorporate community solar on an opt-out basis, with green power that is also up to 10% cheaper than standard rates and allows low- and middle-income customers to join the transition to clean energy.

Sustainable Westchester logo

Westchester Power is a program of Sustainable Westchester, a non-profit composed of a group of member municipalities. Sustainable Westchester launched the first CCA in New York.

Hudson Valley Community Power logo

Hudson Valley Community Power is administered by Joule Assets, based in Katonah and also known as Joule Community Power.

Existing CCAs in California

California CCAs include very large cities and combinations of municipalities

California has a statewide association, CalCCA, which helps influence policy and supports individual CCAs.

Since the first CCAs were formed in California in 2008, they have signed power purchase agreements for more than 3,600 Megawatts of new clean energy. CCA-sponsored projects also include such innovations as the Oakland Clean Energy Initiative, replacing an old 165 MW jet-fuel-driven power plant with a combination of large-scale and behind-the-meter “virtual” battery storage. In Los Angeles, the CCA is building a 100 MW battery storage facility. Other California CCAs offer grants to help community members in need or support their clean energy improvements.

Most CCAs in California have the form of inter-municipal Joint Powers Agreements. This allows them to make long-term financial commitments, usually through power purchase agreements with local or regional generators. They enjoy funding from regional banks, and several have achieved investment-grade financial ratings.