California Choice Energy Authority, formerly known as CCEA, has rebranded as CalChoice.
While its name is new, its expertise in Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs remains consistent. With proven expertise and experience in CCA program implementation, operation and administration, CalChoice can expedite and simplify the process for local governments.
Authorized in California under AB 117 (2002), CCA programs enable local governments to purchase and generate electricity for residents, businesses and municipal facilities and to provide ratepayers an alternative to electricity purchased and distributed by investor-owned utility (IOU) companies such as Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Operating in partnership with the local IOU—which continues to manage transmission and distribution, grid maintenance and customer billing—CCA programs offer ratepayers options by purchasing electricity from energy sources in the open market. For example, CalChoice Associate Member Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy, or PRIME, the City of Pico Rivera’s CCA program, provides ratepayers three electricity energy source options: PRIME Power, with 50 percent renewable energy; PRIME Future, with 100 percent renewable energy; and PRIME Partner, for solar users.
Unique among the models to aid cities in launching CCAs is CalChoice, a joint powers authority built from the ground up by a city for cities, with the goal to help cities navigate the regulation-intensive process of launching a CCA while also minimizing the administrative overhead required to sustain a CCA by a city. CalChoice is a hybrid joint powers authority (JPA) formed by the City of Lancaster, a recognized innovator in power generation and energy efficiency, and the City of San Jacinto. The hybrid JPA was designed to assist cities in California to establish CCA programs without assuming the liability of a single-entity CCA or minimizing local control and sacrificing benefits associated with traditional JPAs.
Associate members of CalChoice—including the cities of Lancaster, Pico Rivera, San Jacinto and Rancho Mirage, and the Town of Apple Valley—benefit from the extensive knowledge and expert staff necessary to implement a successful CCA but, unlike members of traditional JPAs, continue to maintain total local control through CalChoice’s hybrid JPA model. CalChoice supports its members with regulatory and legal affairs, rate analysis, financial projections, power procurement, project scheduling and many other roles. To lower costs and maximize revenues for each member, member cities set rates, purchase energy and contract their CCA services through existing CalChoice contracts.
Under the CalChoice model, cities also have the flexibility to develop energy programs and set rates that support their unique community goals. For example, a CCA can offer a 100 percent renewable energy product, develop energy products that decrease generation costs for customers or develop special rates for customers.
CalChoice offers support for local governments in every phase of the CCA program implementation process, providing feasibility services to determine whether a CCA program is appropriate, developing implementation plans for members to submit to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and managing the implementation process to launch the CCA program, as well as continuing to support members once their CCA program becomes operational.
Partnership with CalChoice is currently available to local governments in the SCE service territory. Local governments considering CCA programs do not have to go through the complex process alone; CalChoice can offer knowledge, expertise and guidance. To learn more about partnering opportunities with CalChoice, please visit www.CaliforniaChoiceEnergyAuthority.com.