NewEnergyNews: ORIGINAL REPORTING: Choice in La La Land: LA County community aggregation

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    Wednesday, October 25, 2017

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Choice in La La Land: LA County community aggregation

    Choice in La La Land: LA County community aggregation has California utilities on full alert; Up to a million customers could shift service away from SCE, leaving the state's utilities worried about the costs of departing load

    Herman K. Trabish, May 9, 2017 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: The CCA movement continues to gain momentum among consumers but renewables advocates are beginning to have questions about its impact on New Energy growth.

    The customer movement away from California utilities to alternative electricity providers took a giant leap ahead when the County of Los Angeles moved to take over electricity procurement for customers of Southern California Edison (SCE) in unincorporated county areas and 82 municipalities. When completed, the Los Angeles Community Choice Energy (LACCE) will have the biggest customer base yet added to the Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) movement.

    California’s CCA movement has at least eight operational members representing over 1.25 million customers and a projected 2017 load of over 13,750 GWh. Eight more members, including LACCE, are expected to launch this year and more than 20 groups are exploring the concept. California Assembly Bill 117 of 2002 established CCAs, allowing “customers to aggregate their electrical loads as members of their local community.” The aggregation is done by municipal or county governments. As an alternative to incumbent IOUs, they purchase electricity in wholesale markets and sell to residents and businesses at competitive rates.

    Since 2002, dissatisfied utility customers across the state have turned to CCAs as an option for more local control over their power mix and prices. California’s investor-owned utilities (IOUs) argue the CCAs’ cleaner, cheaper generation portfolios unfairly impose costs on customers who do not change electricity providers. CCA advocates, meanwhile, say that utility stranded costs are the real issue. The debate is coming to a head at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) as the state's investor-owned utilities push regulators to change the rules for departing load compensation… click here for more

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