The Town of East Hampton is considering to establish a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program to purchase electricity (and/or natural gas) on behalf of residents and businesses. The delivery of power and maintenance of infrastructure would remain with the current utility. CCA is one of several available options to empower our community to decide where our energy comes from.
What is Community Choice Aggregation?
CCA is a program that allows local governments (cities, towns, villages) to procure power on behalf of their residents, businesses, and municipal accounts from an alternative supplier while still receiving transmission and distribution service from their existing utility provider. CCAs are an attractive option for communities that want more local control over their electricity sources, more green power than is offered by the default utility. By aggregating demand, communities gain leverage to choose greener power sources and potentially negotiate better rates with competitive suppliers. CCAs are currently authorized in California, Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.
How do CCAs work?
Local government must hold public hearings and pass a law authorizing the CCA. Depending on state and local government regulations, all homes, businesses, and municipal sites in that jurisdiction may be eligible to participate in the CCA.
Participation in CCAs is always voluntary. Most CCAs have opt-out provisions, meaning when a community begins a program, customers are given advanced notice and have the choice to opt-out of the CCA program and continue to receive service from their current supplier. Customers that do not opt-out are automatically enrolled in the program.
Advantages of CCA
- Enables faster shift to renewable power
- Local control of electricity generation, which can be more responsive to local economic and environmental goals
- Can offer savings through energy-efficiency, smart energy management, and bulk purchase programs for solar, battery storage, and electric vehicles
- Expands consumer choices
- Potential retail electric rate stabilization or reduction
- Can spur local jobs and renewable energy development
Who can participate in CCA?
All customers with PSEG-LI electric service (and, if the CCA offers natural gas, all National Grid customers) within the jurisdiction of the Town of East Hampton would be able to participate. Some commercial and industrial customers may have to opt-in rather than being included on an opt-out basis.
“CCA programs can result in more attractive energy supply terms than can be obtained by individual customers……CCA programs can educate, encourage, and empower communities and individuals to take control of their energy future ” – NYS Public Service Commission
“In 2015, Sustainable Westchester obtained approval for the first [CCA] program to be established under Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) plan. The creation of Westchester Power gave participating municipalities the ability to pool their resources to purchase energy at less expensive rates, and to choose power from 100% clean, renewable sources.” –Sustainable Westchester
“Initiated by the non-profit Sustainable Westchester in 2016, the Westchester Power CCA supplies approximately 115,000 electrical customers in 27 participating municipalities in Westchester County. 24 municipalities opted to provide 100% renewable energy to eligible customers within their jurisdictions. “ -New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA)
Fact Sheet [PDF]
This one-page fact sheet provides a brief description of the Community Choice Aggregation action along with the benefits communities can expect to achieve.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (pdf)
This NYSERDA document provides answers to commonly asked questions pertaining to CCA in New York State.
NYSERDA Step-by-Step Guidance [pdf]
The slide presentation provides an overview of the Clean Energy Communities Program as well as a detailed description and step-by-step guidance for implementing CCA action.
Stay tuned for the latest as the town is exploring CCA. Sign up for our newsletter at http://energizeeh.org/contact-us/