Community Choice Aggregation: An Alternative for Québec’s Electricity Future?

With Hydro-Québec, Québec is endowed with incomparable natural resources, including unique hydroelectricity potential and electricity system. Its electricity system is also highly integrated, from generation to customers. 

Other regions, facing more difficult energy choices, adopted different industry structures. I want here to explore a strong trend in the US and see how we could be inspired by it: Community Choice Aggregation (CCA). 

Community Choice Aggregators (CCA) are not-for-profit public agencies having some electricity retail exclusivity in an area. CCAs allow local governments (cities and counties) to procure energy on behalf of their residents, businesses, and municipalities while still receiving transmission and distribution service from their local utility provider. By aggregating demand, communities gain leverage to negotiate better rates with competitive suppliers and choose greener power sources. Being local, CCAs may also be better positioned to offer services and energy efficiency programs tailored to their communities. 

There are over 1200 CCAs in the US serving 10.6 million customers across 8 states. In 2022, approximately 100 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity was procured by CCA communities. Communities that participate in CCA programs negotiate their source of energy generation, use bulk buying power to decrease energy costs, spur the development of local renewable energy resources and local clean energy jobs, ensure energy price stability and transparency, while accelerating the transition to renewable energy with every initiative. CCAs work in partnership with the region’s existing utility. The CCA buys the power, and the utility continues to deliver it, maintain the grid, and provide consolidated billing.

Could this be adapted to Québec? Perhaps, why not? I’m not saying that this is the solution, but it may be a tool to think about.

I have been following this trend for a few years now, so reach out to me if you want to discuss.