Community Choice Energy “Plus”

*See the new Western Mass Community Choice Energy website,!

The local power approach to CCE (also known as Community Choice Aggregation – CCA) is designed to set in place a clear and replicable path to achieving 100% renewable energy, based on the integration of CCA services –  bulk energy procurement plus local renewable energy development and the provision of customized energy efficiency services.Most 100% renewable options currently offered in MA are based either on out-of-state resources that do not add new renewable energy (such as Texas wind RECs) or on “Local (New England) Class 1 REC” options. Class 1 RECs do provide “additionality” but not locally, and create the need for new transmission and back-up (typically gas-fired) power.  Centralization of power is the problem, not the solution, to climate change and energy dependency. Subtractionality is the principle of reducing demand through the development of renewable resources locally in the communities that use them, and the strategic integration of energy efficiency products into CCA services. It is a bottom-up, rather than top-down, approach to sustainability.How does it work?         The consumer is no longer the destination, but the source.Renewable energy sources are sited at government facilities, residential and commercial customer premises. Energy is used on site, not sold to the utility (“behind the meter”), requiring no net-metering. Shared renewables and targeted efficiency products are financed by local government revenue bonds, grants and commercial investment/credit, to open up participation to all customers.Advantages:

  • Deep and long-lasting greenhouse gas reductions
  • Integration of renewables with energy efficiency (EE) products (with the opportunity to go beyond state EE programs) and electric vehicles
  • Customer and community ownership
  • Low and middle income customer participation
  • Local economic benefits, such as jobs, local finance, business opportunities and community wealth retention
  • Long-term electricity rate reduction
  • Reduced physical dependence on fossil fuel markets and exposure to price volatility
  • Spreads to other communities because of the return-on-investment value

Steps for Municipalities

Initial researchLearn about CCA and the potential role it could play in your communityTown administrator, staff. 
Authorize CCAAuthorize development of an aggregation planCity Council or Town Meeting1 month
Secure startup fundsSecure or approve funds to pay for local public startupCity Council or Town Meeting3 months
Hire Chief Procurement OfficerHire a consultant to design, implement, and monitor aggregation planTown administrator or energy planner2 months
Develop Aggregation Plan with DOERDraft a plan with the input of MA DOER that meets the goals of the community and the requirements of DPUChief Procurement Officer, Town Administrator or Energy Planner2 months
Approve Aggregation PlanApprove plan to be filed with DPUCity Council or Board of Selectmen1 month
Submit Aggregation Plan to DPUPetition DPU to authorize the aggregation planChief Procurement Officer6 months
Develop Local Power PlanCollect and analyze data and draft plan to develop local renewables and offer energy efficiency products, including funding sources, contracting strategy, and program designChief Procurement Officer, Town Administrator or Energy Planner5 months
Approve Local Power PlanAuthorize plan to be implemented locally, including funding sources, contracting strategy and program design,City Council or Board of Selectmen1 month
Issue RFP for competitive energy supplierSolicit competitive bids for the CCA energy supply contractChief Procurement Officer1 month
Issue RFPs for Local Power contractorsSolicit competitive bids for the Local Power development and productsChief Procurement Officer2 months
Execute contract with energy supplierChoose energy supplier for CCATown Administrator or Energy Planner 
Execute contracts with Local Power contractorsChoose contractors for Local Power development and productsTown Administrator or Energy Planner 
Notify customersInform customers about the CCA and the opt-out periodChief Procurement Officer2 months
Begin Local Power marketingInform customers about local renewable and energy efficiency product offeringsChief Procurement Officer2 months
Begin automatic enrollmentEnroll basic service customers who have not opted outUtility1 month
Local Power development and product offeringsManage selected contractors in development of local renewables and installation of energy efficiency productsChief Procurement officer, staff of CCA5-10 years


Massachusetts CCEs that are served by brokers have almost exclusively focused on RECs or just rate discounts, but the Commonwealth’s first CCA, the Cape Light Compact, is a national leader in the development of both energy efficiency and local renewable development. Moreover, the vast majority of local agency-run CCE programs in California and New York CCEs are focused on energy localization rather than green supply, the best examples already online being Sonoma Clean Power, Lancaster Energy Choice, Marin Clean Energy, and CleanPowerSF, and many others getting underway, such as Peninsula Clean Energy, East Bay Community Energy (Alameda County), Redwood Coast Energy Authority (Humboldt County). Other large CCEs with a focus on local investment are preparing to launch in Los Angeles County and the City of San Diego.