• Community Choice Energy

  •  Overview of the Community Choice Energy Program

    Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), also known as Community Choice Energy (CCE), is a program which allows cities to participate in a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) that purchases, sources or generates electricity for their residents and businesses with the goal of gaining local control of electricity generation including sourcing electricity from more renewable sources such as solar, wind, bioenergy and hydroelectric.


    Under a CCE program, the JPA would become the default electricity provider to all electricity customers (commercial and residential) within the service area.  In Danville, this would change how electricity is procured for Danville’s 16,000 customers.  While the JPA would be responsible for power generation, electricity would still be transmitted through Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)’s transmission lines and customers would continue to be billed for electricity and gas through PG&E.  Should the Town of Danville ultimately join a CCE, customers would have the ability to opt out of service from the CCE program and return to PG&E for their source of electricity.


    CCEs in Northern California


    Following the launch of CCE programs in Marin County in 2010 and Sonoma County in 2014, most communities in the Bay Area and elsewhere in the state are now in the process of studying or implementing regional CCE programs.  Napa County joined the CCE program initiated in Marin County, MCE Clean Energy, in early 2016.  The City and County of San Francisco launched a CCE program in May 2016, and San Mateo County launched its program in October 2016.  Alameda County and Santa Clara County are both establishing JPAs for this purpose, with the intent to launch programs in 2017.  In mid-2016, the cities of Lafayette and Walnut Creek joined the MCE Clean Energy, which was already the CCE program for the West Contra Costa cities of El Cerrito, Richmond and San Pablo.


    Exploring CCE Options for Contra Costa County

    At its meeting on January 26, 2016, the Town Council approved funding toward a multi-agency technical study for CCE.  On June 21, 2016 the Town Council authorized Town staff to execute a Memorandum of Understanding with participating agencies to execute the study.  The majority of the remaining cities in Contra Costa County not already part of MCE Clean Energy (Lafayette, Walnut Creek, El Cerrito, Richmond and San Pablo) are part of this technical study.


    The consultant, MWR & Associates, completed the Draft Technical Study for Community Choice Aggregation Program in Contra Costa County on November 30, 2016, The study provides information concerning the proposed electricity rates that might be charged by a CCE program and the revenues that such a program might generate and the ability of a CCE program to lower greenhouse gas emissions generated from electricity use within the county.



    Scope of the Technical Study

    The scope of the technical study includes a comparison of 3 different CCE program alternatives that could be implemented by participating jurisdictions in Contra Costa County to the fourth option of remaining with existing service from PG&E.  The three CCE alternatives considered in the study are:


    1.         Form a new joint powers authority (JPA) of the Town, county and interested cities within Contra Costa County for the purpose of implementing Community Choice Energy;


    2.         Join MCE Clean Energy (MCE) by seeking to become a members of its JPA;


    3.         Join the new JPA known as East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), along with Alameda County and the interested group of cities in the two-county East Bay region, for the purpose of CCE.


    The technical study analyzes electrical load data that the County has requested and obtained from PG&E for the unincorporated area and the 14 participating cities. The technical study projects the electricity rates that might be charged by a new CCE program in Contra Costa County to its customers under several energy procurement scenarios and compares these projected rates to PG&E’s projected rates. 


    The study assesses the potential for a CCE program to lower greenhouse gas emissions generated from energy use within the participating jurisdictions compared to current PG&E service, and the extent to which a CCE program could stimulate economic activity within the Town and County through reduced electricity rates and construction of local renewable energy generation facilities.  Finally, the study includes a comparison among the three CCE program alternatives considered and the option of continuing with existing PG&E service, and presents the tradeoffs associated with each of these four options.


    A copy of the final study is now available here.
    Final Technical Study
    Final Technical Study Appendices

    The five cities in Contra Costa County not participating in this study (El Cerrito, Lafayette, Richmond, San Pablo, and Walnut Creek) are all members of the CCE program initiated in Marin County known as MCE Clean Energy.