In Arizona, the ACC is exploring retail electric choice. Stemming from a broad docket that sought to address possible changes to the state’s Energy Rules, Chairman Forese opened a separate docket to comprehensively address retail electric competition. Among the related topics of transmission planning and access, system reliability, and default service, the docket will also address municipal and community choice aggregation. The docket’s inclusion of CCAs in Arizona’s conversation surrounding retail electric choice marks a significant first for the state’s burgeoning pursuit of energy modernization.
In California, San Diego Mayor, Kevin Faulconer, first announced that the city would form a CCA in October 2018. Mayor Faulconer reaffirmed the city’s pursuit to form a CCA during his 2019 State of the City address, “Community choice energy will inject healthy competition into the marketplace, allowing customers to benefit from lower energy costs and pick greener energy sources to power their home or business.” The city’s Sustainability Department recently published its Community Choice Aggregation Business Plan. The plan will serve as a guide to implement the San Diego CCA. If ultimately approved by the City Council, San Diego would become the largest CCA in the state. The formation of a CCA will support the city’s Climate Action Plan goal to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2035.
In Connecticut, a bill filed on January 25 would establish CCA in the state. While bill text is currently unavailable, HB 6241 creates a program that allows municipalities to purchase electricity generation and gas supply services for customers within their municipalities. In December 2018, the Acadia Center provided five recommendations to Connecticut’s governor for modernizing the state’s energy and transportation markets. One of the five recommended reforms, “Give Communities and Consumer More Control Over Their Energy Choices,” includes community choice aggregation. The Acadia Center’s push for CCA in Connecticut is echoed by a statewide environmental coalition with member organizations such as the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, and Solar Connecticut, as reported Energy News Network.
In New Mexico, the Local Choice Energy Act (HB 374) was introduced. If adopted, the bill would enable CCA in the state of New Mexico. HB 374 allows municipalities, counties, or Native American nations, tribes or pueblos to combine the loads of multiple end-use customers for the sale or purchase of electric energy (or related electric energy-related services) and establishes the overall authorization and framework for these local governments to implement a local choice program.
In New York, the PSC chose to renew the state’s first authorized CCA pilot, Westchester Power, a program under Sustainable Westchester, in a November 15 Order. Since its launch in 2016, Westchester Power has grown to serve roughly 122,000 customers in Westchester County. The CCA’s 25 participating municipalities have been authorized to continue their participation in bulk electricity supply purchases. Like other CCAs, Sustainable Westchester provides increased access to distributed energy resources (DERs) and energy efficiency through programs such as HeatSmart, which seeks to replace natural gas heating with ground and air source heat pumps. The CCA seeks to reduce GHG emissions, increase the use of renewable electricity, promote DERs, and provide safe and convenient energy choices. Aligning with these objectives, customers have the choice of a standard supply product (mixed energy sourcing) or a green supply product (supply matched 100% with Renewable Energy Certificates). To date, the PSC has approved three other CCA programs to serve municipalities in New York.
About EQ Research
EQ Research provides customized research, procurement assistance, regulatory monitoring, and compliance filing review and assistance to CCAs.
EQ Research provides policy research, analysis and data services to businesses active in renewables, energy efficiency, energy storage and electric vehicles. EQ Research’s areas of expertise include state regulatory policy and utility proposals, state legislation, financial incentives, local government policy, RPS and REC issues, net metering, rate design, and general rate cases.
Prior to forming EQ Research, several of its analysts managed and operated the nationally recognized DSIRE project for the U.S. Department of Energy, from 2007 to 2013. EQ’s team also includes the founders of Keyes & Fox LLP, a firm of national legal experts in renewables, distributed energy resources (DERs) and low-carbon transportation fuels. Keyes & Fox attorneys have shaped state-level energy policy through appearances before more than 40 states’ public utility commissions, and through engagement with state legislatures across the country.