Background: Community Choice Aggregation

Community Choice Aggregation or CCA is a relatively new way for communities to bring the financial and environmental advantages of bidding for alternate electrical suppliers to homeowners and local businesses. 

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Legislation in many states, including Massachusetts, allows municipalities that are served by investor-owned utilities to decide on a default electricity supplier for all electricity users in the municipality.  The supplier is usually chosen by the municipality through a  bidding process directed by a special entity called an aggregator, who works to match the municipalities requirements for electricity with a competitive supplier. The requirements provided by the municipality can include options for environmentally-preferable energy supplies. Energy customers continue to get a single bill from the utility. The bill will include transmission costs from the utility, and energy costs from the chosen supplier. Costumers get multiple chances to opt-out of the new supply, but the aggregated bidding done by the town usually results in a deal that is better for customers year-over-year than the default utility energy supply option.

In many more states, including Massachusetts, individual electricity customers can choose alternate energy suppliers,  but the amount of research needed to find a trustworthy and financially advantageous supplier has kept most households form participating in alternate energy suppliers. Businesses, able to put more resources into research, have taken up alternate energy suppliers at a much higher rate.

In Acton, the 2016 Town Meeting approved having the selectmen investigate a CCA for Acton.

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