Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) has the potential to be a groundbreaking approach to energy that would allow communities to leverage their combined demand to purchase the kinds of power supply and energy services that meet their needs, goals and values. But in New York, we’re not there yet.
CLP has for several years been advocating for CCA “2.0” in New York—a version of CCA that harnesses the collective buying power and scale of communities to provide energy supply and services aligned with local needs and goals. Key attributes of a 2.0 program are 1) empowering communities over energy decision-making, and 2) localizing clean energy investments to the benefit of the local economy and community resilience. However, the PSC’s Order enabling CCA in New York, adopted in 2016, falls short in equipping communities with the tools to implement this vision. CLP has assessed the possibilities of working within the limits of the state’s regulatory framework, and has concluded that changes are needed in state policy and regulations for CCA to deliver meaningful long-term benefits to our communities.
Meanwhile, the PSC has approved “generic” CCA implementation plans by Joule Assets, Good Energy, and the Municipal Energy and Gas Alliance, Inc. (MEGA)—three CCA administration consultants seeking to sign up municipalities in NYS to aggregate the electricity and gas accounts of communities as these companies sign customers up over time. Joule's program offers a clean energy option and services to support local clean energy investments. The MEGA program will consist of “1.0” contracts with ESCOs for supply, at least in the near term, although the implementation plan leaves open the possibility of offering other types of services down the road. Good Energy offers a “1.0” CCA program that focuses on financial savings, which are not likely to be significant in New York’s retail supply market, with the option to include opt-in green products as an alternative to the standard supply. Though, when Good Energy presented their program at the 2018 Association of Towns meeting, the company did not discuss those options. CLP has compiled a list of questions for municipalities to ask if they’re considering joining one of these CCAs.
CLP highly recommends that communities interested in CCA read this report of a state-level Working Group on CCA for the PSC’s Clean Energy Advisory Council. CLP Director Jen Metzger was an active member of this working group.
Visit our Resources page to learn more about the barriers to a 2.0 CCA and what sort of questions you should ask if a CCA is being proposed in your municipality.