Community Choice Energy: What Does It Mean For You?

Community Choice

According to Solstice, thousands of Americans are receiving letters in the mail stating their town is offering a community choice energy program. These letters indicate they will be changing the energy they receive at their property, offering multiple plans from green energy to a maximum savings plan. But, what exactly does this mean for you and your business? 

At Agenda Discovery, we make local government more transparent. For you to secure a successful business, you need support from your elected officials. With our legislative tracking tool, you’re able to stay on top of their agendas. Resulting in a better understanding and knowledge of how their laws and regulations affect your business. Read our article below and learn how community choice energy programs can affect your business. 

What Exactly is Community Choice Energy?

Community Choice Energy, or Community Choice Aggregations, are programs that allow local governments to procure alternative power sources on behalf of their residents, businesses, and municipal accounts. These programs are attractive options for communities that want more local control over their energy sources. Oftentimes, municipalities may look for alternatives to facilitate green energy or lower their electricity costs.  

Which States Are Currently Enrolled in a Community Choice Aggregation?

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Community Choice Energy programs are authorized in 7 states: California, Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. In the same article, they mention that these programs sold about 8.7 billion kilowatts-watts of sustainable energy to about 3.3 million customers. 

Currently, Colorado is investigating to evaluate the parameters of an energy policy that allows communities in the state to choose alternative energy suppliers. 

How Do Community Choice Energy Programs Work?

Typically, a local government will hold public hearings and pass laws authorizing the program. Depending on the state and local government regulations, all properties in that jurisdiction may be eligible to participate in the Community Choice Aggregation. Additionally, property owners can opt-out, meaning when the local government begins the program, customers are given advanced notice and have the choice to not be a part of the services. 

The Community Choice Aggregation program will purchase electricity on behalf of the community, from traditional or green power sources. The existing utility source will continue to deliver the electricity using the same power lines and billing mechanisms.  The result is more options for your community, leading to happier customers and diverse services to meet your community’s needs. 

The Pros and Cons of Community Choice Energy Programs

The advantages of enrolling in a Community Choice Aggregation program includes: 

  • Potential retail electric rate reduction
  • Enables rapid shift to greener resources
  • Local control of electricity generation
  • Expands consumer choices
  • Create local jobs and develop renewable energy

The disadvantages of enrolling in the program include:

  • It’s dependent on enabling state legislation
  • Requires navigation of various regulations and passing the appropriate ordinances to secure the program
  • It can be costly
  • Opt-in vs. opt-out clauses can be confusing to consumers
  • Potential push-back from utility companies in traditionally regulated electricity states

How Can Agenda Discovery Help Monitor Community Choice Developments?

With Agenda Discovery’s easy-to-use legislative tracking tool, anyone can stay on top of local government agendas that could impact their business. Whether they’re in the utility, financial, or medical industry, we’ve made it easy to track policies that matter to any business. By plugging an unlimited amount of keywords, business leaders can feel empowered and secure knowing they have our software on their side. Contact us today to receive a free demo and learn how we can help you stay on top of laws that matter to your business!

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