How Community Choice Purchasing Fits into Maryland’s Clean Energy Future

Since the 1999 deregulation of the electricity generation market, the competitive residential market has grown only modestly. Deregulation promised greater consumer leverage, but many users have found the market to be opaque or confusing – limiting their ability to efficiently identify the most competitive pricing or the best fit source of clean energy alternatives.

Community choice aggregation programs allow local governments to purchase power on behalf of their residents, businesses, and government accounts from an alternative supplier while still receiving transmission and distribution service from their existing utility.

At this year’s MACo Summer Conference, a panel of experts discussed the pros and cons of “opt-out” aggregation, and why community aggregation could be the missing piece toward desirable outcomes.

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman led the well-attended discussion.

Panel speakers included:

  • State Delegate Lorig Charkoudian
  • Lily Hawkins, Maryland Organizer, Food and Water Watch
  • William Kress, Esq., Capital Law Firm

The panel explained that while community choice aggregation provides counties with an enhanced means to coordinate energy purchasing for their communities in order to help foster competition, lower prices, or pursue environmental goals – there are still a number of questions that must be answered relating to transparency, best practices, and the “weeding out” of bad actors.

The 2019 MACo Summer Conference – “Winds of Change” on August 14-17 focused on the changes being seen at every level of government and constituent services and how counties are harnessing that momentum for the good of all Marylanders.

Click here for Conduit Street coverage of the 2019 MACo Summer Conference.

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