Community Choice Aggregation
Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is a program that allows local governments in California to purchase and/or generate electricity for their residents and businesses instead of relying on investor-owned utilities like PG&E.
Visit the CalCCA website to learn more about Community Choice Aggregation.
How It Works
Under the CCA program, the provider manages where and how local electricity is generated while the local investor-owned utility (IOU) provider (PG&E in Western Nevada County) continues to deliver the power to the community. The CCA program allows for consumer options, local economic development (profits are invested back into the local community instead of paid out to shareholders), transparency in rate setting, and cleaner energy opportunities. PG&E continues to be responsible for customer billing.
Once a local government decides to partner with a CCA, all customers within the jurisdiction will be automatically enrolled in the CCA; however, customers retain the option to “opt out” of the CCA program and continue to receive power from PG&E.
Joining the CCA Program
In January 2022, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors directed staff to research how Community Choice Aggregation could benefit the residents of Nevada County.
Following extensive research on CCA programs, staff has identified the following potential benefits of Nevada County partnering with Pioneer Community Energy, the CCA in our region. These potential benefits include:
If Nevada County opts into a CCA, Nevada County customers will have the option to stay with PG&E.
For 2023, the average Pioneer customer is saving $20 per month when compared with the standard PG&E plan, which equates to a 9% savings rate.
Consistency with Neighboring Communities
Pioneer currently provides energy to many of our neighboring communities, including Auburn, Colfax, Lincoln, Rocklin, Loomis, Placerville, unincorporated Placer County, and unincorporated El Dorado County. Starting in 2024, Pioneer will also be the energy provider for Grass Valley and Nevada City.
Opportunities for Local Economic Development
Pioneer’s purchase of power from local renewable energy providers supports local jobs and contributes to the sustainability of local businesses.
Renewable Energy Option
Pioneer offers customers a 100% Renewable Plan option whereas PG&E does not currently offer a 100% renewable energy plan option.
Additional Benefits to Solar Customers
- Pioneer currently pays ½ cent more than PG&E for excess kWh (Net Surplus Compensation)
- Pioneer solar customers pay monthly when consumption exceeds generation instead of receiving one annual electric true-up bill.
- If a NEM produces less electricity than they generate, they receive the same discount to PG&E as non-NEM customers receive.
- Unused solar generation credits rollover from month-to-month with Pioneer.
- Consumer Choice: Nevada County customers will have the option to stay with PG&E.
Maintenance of CARE, FERA, and Medical Baseline Benefits
All current members of these programs will see no changes to their benefits.
About Pioneer Community Energy
Pioneer Community Energy (Pioneer) was formed in 2017 and launched in 2018. Pioneer currently provides energy to many of our neighboring communities, including Auburn, Colfax, Lincoln, Rocklin, Loomis, Placerville, unincorporated Placer County, and unincorporated El Dorado County. Starting in 2024, Pioneer will also be the energy provider for Grass Valley and Nevada City.
Pioneer is governed by a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) with a Board of Directors comprised of representatives from each member agency. This board sets rates and procurement policies. All meetings are open to the public.
Visit the Pioneer Community Energy website to learn more.
- August 8, 2023: Pioneer Community Energy presentation to the Board of Supervisors
- October 2023: Board of Supervisors votes on joining Pioneer Community Energy
- TBD: Pioneer Board approves the addition of Nevada County
- TBD: Deadline for submission to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)
- TBD: Nevada County online with Pioneer
A locally-governed, not-for-profit, public agency called Pioneer Community Energy is coming to western Nevada County in 2024. KVMR News Director Cláudio Mendonça spoke with Executive Director Donald Eckert to learn more. Learn More
Residents of unincorporated Nevada County have opportunities in coming weeks to learn more about a proposed alternative for getting electricity service. Supervisors are considering whether to adopt a Community Choice Aggregation. Learn More