Empowered Communities: The Rise of Community Choice Aggregation in the United States

Eric OShaughnessy, Jenny Heeter, Emily Chen, Julien Gattaciecca, Jenny Sauer, Kelly Trumbull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus Citations


Community choice aggregation (CCA) is an emerging model of energy procurement that allows local governmental entities to procure electricity on behalf of retail electricity customers. Through CCA, local governments can control local electricity portfolios while investor-owned utilities remain responsible for transmission and distribution. In this article, we use a combination of publicly-available data, data obtained directly from CCAs, and stakeholder interviews to explore the rise of CCAs, the current and potential future impacts of CCAs on demand for renewable energy, and the factors that will determine future CCA expansion. We estimate that CCAs procured about 42 million megawatt-hours of electricity on behalf of about 5 million customers in the United States in 2017. We estimate that CCAs already procure about 8.9 million megawatt-hours more renewable energy than required by state mandates, and that CCAs could procure as much as 28.9 million megawatt-hours of voluntary renewable energy if the CCA model is permitted in more states. The ongoing expansion of CCAs could significantly affect electricity markets, electricity portfolios, and the future role of utilities. We explore various challenges associated with the further expansion of CCAs.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1110-1119
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy Policy
StatePublished - 2019

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-6A20-72726


  • community choice aggregation
  • deregulation
  • electricity markets
  • renewable energy
  • retail choice


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