Community Choice Energy (also called Community Choice Aggregation) is an increasingly vital way that city residents throughout the U.S. are coming together to increase access to renewable energy for people of all incomes. CCE has been proven effective in adding renewable energy to residents’ electricity mix while keeping rates competitive. Read on to find out how to oin the effort to bring CCE to Boston.
City Council President Boosts Community Choice Energy
Michelle Wu gave the Community Choice Energy/Aggregation campaign a huge boost on January 25, when she and Councilor O’Malley introduced a hearing order for a CCE ordinance. “Community choice energy is the fastest way that Boston can get on the path to being a 100% renewable energy city,” she told the Council. This is her full statement:
Community Choice Aggregation: Councilor O’Malley and I filed a hearing order to discuss implementing Community Choice Aggregation in Boston. This is a program established by state law that allows cities and towns in Massachusetts to use bulk purchasing power on behalf of residents and small businesses to set a higher percentage of clean, renewable energy. According to the state’s process, City Councils can vote to authorize the Administration to proceed with an alternate energy contract that sets higher renewable energy standards, including the ability to focus on regional clean energy sources and spark jobs in our local green economy. The utility companies would still deliver the energy to consumers and administer billing as usual. Individuals can opt out of the bulk contract and return to their own default sources at any time. Councilor O’Malley and I both noted the urgency of needing to take local action to combat climate change. 2016 was the 3RD YEAR IN A ROW that we broke the record for hottest year on record. With a new President in DC who denies climate change and plans to install climate change deniers to head several federal agencies that oversee environmental regulations, local action can’t wait. The matter was sent to the Environment & Sustainability Committee for a hearing.
Boston Climate Action Network (BCAN) is leading the campaign to bring CCE to Boston. As advocates for climate justice, BCAN supports increasing access to renewable energy for people of all incomes. They are seeking to persuade the City of Boston to follow the example of many other Massachusetts municipalities to affirm this goal through an ordinance authorizing a Community Choice Energy plan.
The CCE model, developed in part by nonprofit Mass Energy Consumers Alliance, has already been implemented by Melrose, Dedham, Arlington, Gloucester, and Brookline. In these communities, it has proven effective in adding renewable energy to residents’ electricity mix while keeping electricity rates competitive and even producing savings. The Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (MAPC) has endorsed Community Choice Energy and offers resources to assist municipalities in developing a CCE plan.
Community Choice Energy is an excellent alternative to predatory competitive electricity suppliers who target individual households with good deals, but then raise their rates after a few months of enrollment. Furthermore, unlike clean energy offsets from outside of New England, choosing local renewable energy production sources keeps the benefits of clean electricity in our communities: air quality improvements, job creation, energy resilience and price stability, and climate change preparedness.
For these reasons, Boston Climate Action Network and WRSE invite you to join us in asking the City of Boston to adopt a Community Choice Energy plan that offers stable, competitive electricity rates and includes at least 5% more Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) “Class 1” qualified (or “new”) renewable energy than is required by state law.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending trainings and/or meetings to help us expand access to Renewable for All in Boston.