Frequently Asked Questions
How does CCA create local jobs and revenue?
Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is a community program with a dedicated local staff. It supports development of local renewables (e.g. solar), which will provide opportunities for local contractors and boost local businesses. Savings on energy costs and local earnings from distributed energy resources that reduce or manage demand (e.g., smart thermostats) keep dollars, that would otherwise flow out of the community, local. Thus, CCA creates opportunities for local contractors, keeps dollars local, and supports local businesses.
How will working with Joule to create a CCA further our local sustainability goals?
Forming a CCA can help you achieve your goals in the following ways:
- On the supply side, you can aggregate the community to act as a single customer, thereby providing the clout needed to dictate the terms under which energy is purchased for your municipality. A CCA program gives the whole community an opportunity to participate in the green energy economy by procuring a greater percentage, or even all, of their energy from renewable sources.
- In terms of demand, your CCA can institute demand management and efficiency programs to lower peak demand. Reducing consumption will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it will also save residents money and can allow for participation in demand response programs, bringing new revenue into the community.
- Your municipality can also seek to develop its own renewable sources, generating energy locally. This approach can be utilized to develop resilient microgrids that operate only when your community would otherwise be acing a blackout.
How can a mix of desired energy sources be guaranteed?
In the process of selecting energy suppliers, you can include in your RFP supplier reporting requirements, both to the CCA and the Public Service Commission (PSC). Environmental disclosure labels provide information on fuel sources used to generate energy, the air emissions associated with the generation, and a comparison of those to a statewide average (click the image to enlarge the Sample Environmental Disclosure Label).
In order to further guarantee energy sources, Joule uses Green-e, the nation's leading certification program for renewable energy. Green-e monitors and imposes additional reporting requirements on energy suppliers. Joule uses the Green-e program to further bolster customer confidence that they are purchasing renewable energy.
Can we administer a CCA program ourselves?
Overseeing a CCA program is a lot of work, but more importantly, it requires energy market expertise to:
- solicit and evaluate procurement bids
- negotiate consumer-protective contracts with suppliers
- draft template legislation and planning documents
- secure data and customer enrollment platform
- anticipate, avoid, and address pitfalls
- connect with other municipalities on a single program structure
- interact with the utility and the PSC
- intelligently answer questions from residents
Would implementing a CCA be overstepping our governmental bounds?
CCA gives residents an additional choice, while not restricting them from existing choices. Residents can opt out of the CCA at any time with absolutely no penalty.
How much will this cost our residents, and how can we be assured they won't be exposed to additional costs?
The short answer is that, even with the administration and all other fees, residents will pay less in the next year than they have historically paid. Most towns require that, before signing a deal with any supplier, the supplier makes that contractual commitment. Even more central to CCA's value:
- residents will have fixed long-term rates, and
- if other competitive offers prove cheaper, residents may switch to the less expensive offer without paying any penalty.
Thus, inclusive of all fees and charges imposed by the supplier(s) and Joule, CCA will cost your residents less than they are currently paying.
Who has already implemented CCA and what has their experience been like?
In New York State, twenty Westchester municipalities have implemented a CCA program. Across the U.S., six states have adopted legislation that allows for the existence of CCA programs. They are (in order of adoption): Massachusetts, Ohio, California, New Jersey, Illinois, and New York. As of 2014, CCAs served nearly 5% of Americans in more than 1,300 municipalities.
What does Joule Get out of it?
Joule receives a consumption-based administration fee, and opes to share in the value of future enriched programs or added value strweams your community may institute with Joule's support in the future. With our shared value proposition, our interests are always aligned with yours.