Communities in California Starting Their Own CCAs
The movement began in May 2010 when Marin Clean Energy (MCE) became the state’s first CCA. Serving over 100,000 customers in Marin and other counties as a Joint Powers Authority (JPA), MCE relies on Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) for power distribution.
In 2014, Sonoma Clean Power was established as a JPA, serving eight communities in its region and also relying on PG&E for distribution.
The pioneering City of Lancaster took a bold step in 2015 by becoming the first in California to establish a stand-alone CCA within the Southern California Edison (SCE) service area. Today, Lancaster Energy, the City’s own utility service, provides electricity to nearly 95% of its residents.
Since Lancaster Energy’s launch and the establishment of CalChoice, seven additional community choice aggregators (CCAs) in Southern California have joined as CalChoice associate members. These include San Jacinto Power, Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy, Rancho Mirage Energy Authority, Apple Valley Choice Energy, Pomona Choice Energy, Santa Barbara Clean Energy and Energy for Palmdale’s Independent Choice.
These eight entities contribute to the overall count of 25 operational CCAs in the state. For statistics and specific information about California’s CCAs, please visit the California Community Choice Association’s (CalCCA) website.
The JPA Story
California Choice Energy Authority (CalChoice) is a hybrid Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) structure that provides members the ability to leverage CalChoice’s knowledge and staff in order to benefit from energy procurement services, regulatory matters, accounting, and compliance functions which are crucial to the success of a CCA. A member city, which may otherwise be unable to operate as an individual CCA either due to size or budget constraints, is able to take advantage of these economies of scale without having to sacrifice key control often associated with JPAs or taking on the significant liability of a single entity CCA. The CalChoice then contracts with the City of Lancaster and other qualified third party consultants to perform an agreed upon scope of work.
This model allows each member agency the following benefits:
- Utilization of existing contracts and costs
- Access to trained and experienced staff
- Transparent procurement costs
- Transparent operational costs
- Control over local energy rates and operations
- Control of operational revenues for local program development tailored to each community
- Cost savings and efficiency
Not only will member cities enjoy the advantage of CalChoice’s extensive knowledge but also its staff and consultants who are specialists in the CCA industry. Integration with Southern California Edison (SCE) and their systems is a crucial component for new CCAs to successfully launch and provide quality, consistent customer service. CalChoice’s team of experts has spent much time learning SCE’s complex systems and has established the necessary contacts, relationships, and processes in order to navigate those challenges. With CalChoice, members have experienced experts on their team from day one. People who have gone through the process before, allowing member cities to hit the ground running and be operational quicker and easier than ever thought possible.