energy purchasing Photo by NASA via Unsplash

Photo by NASA via Unsplash

While cities increasingly have the desire to move away from the use of fossil fuels, many are facing obstacles in converting their electricity supplies to clean energy. According to CDP, which surveys the world’s cities regarding climate change, just 35 percent of all cities report that they have set a renewable energy target.

A policy called “community choice aggregation” allows local governments (or groups of local governments) to join together to make energy purchasing decisions on behalf of residential and small business customers in their community. In practice, it means that cities can choose their energy suppliers on the basis of cost, pollution, and local economic benefits, without having to own and maintain the electric grid.

The Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) process helps cities to aggregate demand for nonfossil electricity and use it to negotiate contracts with electricity suppliers. Cities are participating in CCA with the goal to increase the green power options for local residents.

Seven states – California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, New York and Rhode Island – have CCA legislation enabling local governments to aggregate the electricity loads of residents, businesses, and municipal facilities, and control both the cost and amount of renewable energy in their energy mix.

View the full policy:

Learn more about Community Choice Aggregation:

This article was adapted from our latest book, “Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons.” Download your free pdf copy todayThis article was co-written by John Farrell (Institute for Local Self-Reliance).

Emily Skeehan


Emily Skeehan |

Emily E. Skeehan is currently living in Tokyo, Japan and is a Sharing Cities Policy Analyst Fellow. She completed a one-year John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship working for the

Things I share: Ideas and best practices on environmental policy and sustainability as well as stories on climate change adaptation and other challenges facing cities around the world.