June 5, 2017

Community Choice Energy

What is Community Choice Energy?

Community Choice Energy (CCE), sometimes referred to as “Community Choice Aggregation” or “CCA”, is a program that expands options and brings the freedom of choice to the electricity marketplace.

CCE allows cities and counties to purchase power on behalf of their residents to provide cleaner power options and set rates at a competitive or lower price, while the existing utility company continues to deliver power over their power lines. It is an agile public-private partnership.  

What are the benefits of CCE?

Choice. In the past, markets only had one electricity provider. A local community choice program offers you a choice of providers and creates competition that encourages innovation and improved pricing. Hey, you have a choice when it comes to our cell phone providers, where we buy groceries and just about everything else – why shouldn't you have a choice when it comes to your utility company?

More clean energy. The local community choice provider can reduce the region's carbon footprint by providing a higher mix of clean energy sources than the existing monopoly utility.

Local control. Utility rates are currently set in San Francisco without input from customers. A local community choice energy program will set rates in San Diego and offer local control and direct accountability of our rates.

Cost. Community choice energy programs offer competition in the marketplace that allows the transition to 100 percent clean energy to be achieved at reasonable, competitive rates for families, businesses, and cities.

How do we pay for it?

Community Choice Energy programs are revenue-based, not government-subsidized. That means they’re self-supporting from an existing revenue stream (electricity bills).

Where is Community Choice Energy Successful?

Community choice energy programs are successful in dozens of communities throughout California. Just take a look...

Operational Community Choice Energy Programs in California

Source: Clean Power Exchange. For an interactive version of this map, click on the map to link to CPX.

Source: Clean Power Exchange. For an interactive version of this map, click on the map to link to CPX.

  • Marin Clean Energy - Launched May 2010 - Serves Marin County, Napa County, and the cities of Benicia, Lafayette, San Pablo, Richmond, and Walnut Creek
  • Sonoma Clean Power  - Launched May 2014 - Serves Sonoma County and Mendocino County (as of Aug 2016)
  • Lancaster Clean Energy - Launched May 2015 - Serves the City of Lancaster in Los Angeles County
  • CleanPower SF - Launched May 2016 - Serves San Francisco
    •  CleanPowerSF Expands Amid Strong Customer Demand (8/10/16)
  • Peninsula Clean Energy - Launched October 2016 - Serves San Mateo County and the 20 cities in the County
    • San Mateo County ditches PG&E, starts buying cheaper, greener energy (10/2/16)
  • Silicon Valley Clean Energy - Launched April 2017 - Serves 12 communities in Santa Clara County: Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Saratoga, Sunnyvale, and the unincorporated parts of Santa Clara County
  • Apple Valley Choice Energy - Launched April 2017 - Serves the Town of Apple Valley
  • Redwood Coast Energy Authority - Launched May 2017 - Serves 7 cities and Humboldt county

Emerging Community Choice Energy Programs

Exploring Community Choice Energy


What do I need to get started? Where can I find more resources?

Community Choice Energy exploration begins with education and engagement of government officials and the community. A typical official first step is to identify funding and obtain the energy load data from the local utility to conduct a technical feasibility study.

Sample "declarations to pursue", resolutions and ordinances, Joint Powers Authority Agreements, Technical Study examples, and Implementation Plans can be found on Clean Power Exchange's Resources page.

Additional informational resources, sample documents, and FAQ can be found at Marin Clean Energy's resources page.