Cities and towns that want to rely on more renewable energy should increase or start participation in community choice aggregation programs, writes Ann Berwick, the director of sustainability for the city of Newton, Massachusetts, in a recent Boston Globe opinion article.
Coinciding with the annual meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors in Boston, Berwick proclaimed community choice aggregation (CCA) as a powerful tool to combat federal policies that undermine efforts to address climate change.
States that don’t have community choice aggregation laws should create such programs, and communities in states that already allow CCAs should incorporate renewable components, urges Berwick, who was also the chair of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities from 2010 to 2015.
Berwick credits CCAs with accelerating the development of renewable power sources such as solar and wind while reducing greenhouse emissions. She also wrote that in addition to often saving residents and businesses money, CCAs provide stable energy prices and more renewable power options than offered by traditional utilities.
“It’s hard to over-emphasize the importance of a program that drives the development of renewable electricity,” Berwick writes. “Converting to cleaner electricity is the path to decarbonizing the economy.”
One of the most-appealing aspects of community choice aggregation that Berwick emphasizes: Towns have the power to chart their own courses and promote more renewable energy beyond the reach of Washington politics.
About 100 communities in Massachusetts have adopted CCA programs, and about 40 of those communities have used the program to purchase more renewable energy.
Good Energy helped develop the largest bulk-purchasing program in Massachusetts, enabling residents and businesses to save money while providing more renewable energy options. To find out if your state participates in community choice aggregation programs, visit Good Energy.