Building Support for Community Choice Aggregation
What campaign messages and methods work best to build support for Community Choice Aggregation?
Community Choice Aggregation (aka Municipal Aggregation, Community Choice Energy, and other variants) is a way for cities, counties, and some special districts to “green up their electricity”, increasing the proportion of clean energy contained in their default electricity service. Going beyond the default mix specified by state Renewable Portfolio Standards, CCA works through “the buying power of individual customers within a defined jurisdiction in order to secure alternative energy supply contracts on a community-wide basis, but allowing consumers not wishing to participate to opt out.” (Wikipedia)
CCA has been allowed under state law in California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Ohio. It is still left to each municipality to decide whether to pursue it within guidelines set by state law - and that decision relies on building support across a community. Citizens, community leaders, city staff and elected officials all need to get on board. Understanding how CCA works, and why it’s a good thing, requires us to learn a bit more about our electric service structure and operation.
Let's assemble best practices for community conversations! Here are some starting points. Please join in to contribute your experiences.
Methods to build support:
- Town meeting or forum
- Meet with your elected officials
- Letters to Editor of local papers
What messages of benefits and advantages work best?
- Builds the local economy and local jobs, don’t import FF from out of state
- Better for environment, make our town a green leader
- Taking advantage of bulk buying power
What messages have proven problematic?
- Lower bills? Often it works out that way, but not always. While news coverage may emphasize it, don’t lead with cost savings. Emphasize instead that you'll get greener, cleaner local energy at essentially the same or maybe slightly less costs; and if for some reason your town's best negotiated rate is coming in too high, you can roll back temporarily to the default utility mix until rates improve.
- "government overreach, the city is somehow taking over my private choice"
- But it’s really no different than how choice works in your current service. You can always opt-out for different service.
Let's assemble a resource library - upload files or share links to:
- Infographics for web, posters, handouts
- Short video explainers
- Shareable social media images
- In-depth preparation for campaigns
To be added....