Counties Support Community Choice Aggregation

On Tuesday, Michael Sanderson testified on a panel alongside representatives from Anne Arundel County, Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, and the Maryland Municipal League in support of SB 660 Electric Industry – Community Choice Aggregation.

By providing a means to coordinate energy purchasing, this bill would help counties foster competition, lower prices, and pursue environmental goals.

From the MACo Testimony:

SB 660 provides counties and municipalities the freedom to form or to join community choice aggregators at their discretion. Under current law, this is only allowed if the Public Service Commission (PSC) finds there is insufficient choice of electrical competition within the boundaries of a jurisdiction and licenses the jurisdiction to do so. The bill specifies the requirements and process for forming or joining an aggregator and requires that the PSC regulate them.

The bill provides important benefits and consumer protections – most notably a clear “opt out” for anyone in the affected community who does not seek to join the cooperative effort. Notice and transparency requirements ensure the public is well informed prior to an aggregator forming and kept aware of the terms and conditions once one is formed. Community aggregators are also limited in their ability to assess any new charges as those must be limited to the costs of the electricity or its transmission.

For more on 2019 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.