Want to take advantage of the new technology surrounding renewable energy but don’t want to fork over that massive solar panel installation price tag? There are other solutions. Now, through Green Power Partnerships, there are opportunities nationwide to take advantage of clean energy sourced through the general power grid; you just have to proactively ask for it.
The Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is currently in the forefront of this movement, which is essentially a collective of programs “that allow local governments to procure power on behalf of their residents, businesses, and municipal accounts from an alternative supplier”, according to the EPA. While not necessarily initially intended to be a conduit for consumers to access renewable energy-sourced electricity, it has evolved to enable communities to have access to “more green power than is offered by the default utility, and/or lower electricity prices” (EPA). It’s pretty cool stuff. This program is currently available in select states: California, Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. Clearly not present everywhere, the CCA sold “about 8.7 billion kilowatt-hours of green power to about 3.3 million customers” in 2016, and is currently developing future arrangements with more states.
You may be asking yourself how this program is really meant to work; if the actual electrical grid isn’t normally meant to be utilizing green(er) energy, how do they suppose they can provide it through this program? Well, as previously mentioned, the electricity is sourced and purchased from subcontracted green energy generators that are able to provide the electricity to the general grid, which is subsequently delivered to residents via traditional utility methods. No installations, no extra costs are needed, all that is changed is simply a request to electrical suppliers to switch electrical intake to being sourced by cleaner providers. This has been seen, too, to often result in lower costs (“sometimes by 15 to 20 percent” – EPA), and of course assists in making the household substantially cleaner.
These are another excellent step in transitioning consumers to clean energy. It’s easy, can slice utility costs, and is exponentially better for the environment. If you’ve got the means and the option, I’d highly recommend switching.
EPA site on CCA: https://www.epa.gov/greenpower/community-choice-aggregation