Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is a program towns and cities can use to switch everyone in the town who is on basic service over to cleaner energy. An energy broker helps the community purchase the amount of energy which best fits their needs. Residents may opt out at any time. The energy is still distributed and billed through the town's original utility (i.e. Eversource or National Grid).
MCAN Executive Director, Carol Oldham, went to Lowell to discuss CCA with a community group. There is an extensive Q&A at the end of the discussion that is especially helpful if your town has done aggregation but would now like to green that mix.
Community Choice Aggregation allows residents and small businesses to seamlessly switch to more renewable energy.
- See MCAN's two page handout on CCA here
- See MCAN' s "power half hour" TV show about CCA here, with guests from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Synapse Energy, and the Sustainable Lexington Committee
- You can also look at the presentation from our August 26th webinar on CCA here (the file is large)
- The Metropolitan Area Planning Council released a report about how green aggregation is making the grid cleaner. You can find that here.
- View an example of how CCA is being implemented in the entire northern Berkshires area here
MCAN chapters, contact us for information on getting started!�
Success Story: Melrose
Melrose has been a leader in the state for Community Choice Aggregation (CCA). They were an early adopter, starting the CCA program in January 2016. They have had great success with the program, reducing their use of energy from fossil fuels by 5%, and also getting more stable rates. The plan from Constellation Energy supplies the town with 5% renewables, mostly from wind projects with Mass Energy, and the broker Good Energy helped them set up the plan.
The community has been very supportive of the CCA program. According to the town energy manager Martha Grover, “residents like that they are using more clean energy, and they appreciate the rate stability and the consumer education to help them understand their electric bills.”
Melrose has shown other towns that they can also use CCAs to provide more clean energy, reduce carbon pollution, and make prices more stable.
Success Story: Brookline
Brookline has taken a huge step to reduce carbon emissions by approving a CCA plan that will provide an impressive 25% additional renewable energy. This is the largest amount so far for any municipality in the state! There will also be an option for residents and businesses to purchase a supply of 100% renewables. Like Melrose, Brookline is using Good Energy as a broker.
Brookline’s CCA has received final approval by the Department of Public Utilities. The town will not know what the charge will be for either the 25% or 100% renewables option until bids go out in October and a supplier is chosen.
There has been a lot of enthusiasm and support for the CCA in Brookline, with unanimous support for the program at town meeting and from the Board of Selectmen. According to Kathleen Scanlon, a member of the Brookline Climate Action Committee, “With Brookline Green Electricity, we will massively cut our impact on climate change due to electricity usage—by 8% of the Town’s overall carbon emissions. No other action we can take results in carbon emission reductions of this magnitude.” Brookline is a great example of how municipalities can successfully reduce their carbon footprint with renewable energy using CCAs.
Success Story: Lexington
Community aggregation was approved in Lexington during a town meeting in March 2015. They have selected Peregrine Energy as their energy broker, and are currently waiting for final approval from the Department of Public Utilities. Once they have been approved, which should happen in January, 2017, they will decide on the amount of renewable energy to offer in their CCA plan. They are hoping to offer a plan of 100% renewables if it is economically feasible.
Many towns are working on Community Aggregation:
Acushnet, Attleboro, Carver, Dartmouth, Dedham, Dighton, Douglas, Dracut, Fairhaven, Fall River, Freetown, Marion, Mattapoiset, New Bedford, Northbridge, Norton, Plainville, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Somerset, Swansea, Westport, Westford - all these towns have passed community choice aggregation but no additional clean energy purchase above the Renewable Portfolio Standard (if you live in one of these towns and want to help get greener energy, please contact us at email@example.com)
Boston city council has started thinking about Community Choice Energy, and BCAN (the Boston Climate Action Network) is working with many partners to engage communities and educate their friends and neighbors. If you would like to be involved in Boston, please email us and we will connect you!
Additionally, some other towns are well into the process:
Acton - Passed town meeting and in conversations about buying clean energy
Melrose - approved, 5% Additional clean energy started Sept 2015
Lexington - passed town meeting with a focus on buying clean energy
Winchester - passed town meeting with a focus on buying clean energy
Brookline - passed town meeting, 25% additional clean energy
Somerville, Cambridge - early stages, with a focus on buying clean energy
Watertown - The Environment and Energy Efficiency committee has had presentations on CCA and is considering bringing to city council
Newton - residential aggregation
Greenfield - residential aggregation