Supporting Community Choice Aggregation Provisions
WHEREAS, many States are restructuring retail markets for utility service to permit competition; and

WHEREAS, the restructuring of retail markets to allow customers to choose suppliers other than their traditional utility for competitive portions of electric and gas service (“competitive service”) must benefit all customers, including residential and small business consumers; and

WHEREAS, in some States that have restructured retail markets for particular competitive services, few choices of competitive suppliers are yet available to residential and small business consumers; and

WHEREAS, it is possible that many residential customers will not actively choose a new competitive service supplier and instead will remain customers of their current supplier for years to come; and

WHEREAS, many customers, especially residential and small business customers, may find it difficult and frustrating to find the time and sufficient information to evaluate competing offers from suppliers fully; and

WHEREAS, aggregation into larger buying groups could provide consumers greater buying power in the marketplace, and thus may achieve better prices and services in competitive service markets; and

WHEREAS, “community choice” is a type of aggregation in which a local government negotiates a contract for specific utility service on behalf of citizens within its boundaries. Residents or businesses in the community who prefer to choose their own suppliers are free to select their own provider or aggregation group; and

WHEREAS, community choice may enable government aggregators to save their citizens more money than they would save as individuals by aggregating their residents into larger buying groups; and

WHEREAS, local governments are accountable to their constituents through elections, open meetings laws, fair bidding laws, and conflict of interest laws; and

WHEREAS, because local governments exercising community choice must include all customers within the jurisdiction who want to participate, all citizens and businesses who so choose can benefit, while other types of retail competitive utility service suppliers could pick and choose specific types or groups of customers; and

WHEREAS, community aggregation groups can provide a service base that has diversity, consistency of load, and lower marketing costs that may be attractive to competitive suppliers; and

WHEREAS, in States which have restructured specific utility retail markets, citizens should be able to use traditional public processes to determine whether their local governments should act as aggregators for their communities;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Association of State Utility Consumer

Advocates (NASUCA) urges that if Congress adopts energy restructuring legislation, it should permit as a part of utility restructuring, any entity, including local units of government, to offer aggregation services to its consumers; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NASUCA urges that if Congress adopts energy restructuring legislation, such legislation should encourage states to consider whether to permit aggregation plans that allow a local unit of government and/or its residents to decide if it wants to provide aggregation service to all of its consumers, provided that those consumers retain their ability to select an alternative provider; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NASUCA calls on Congress to reject in any energy restructuring legislation under its consideration provisions precluding or limiting any state’s aggregation plans; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NASUCA authorizes its Executive Committee to

develop specific positions and to take appropriate actions consistent with the terms of this resolution. The Executive Committee shall advise the membership of any proposed action prior to taking such action if possible. In any event, the Executive Committee shall notify the membership of any action taken pursuant to this resolution.

Approved by NASUCA:

November, 1999, San Antonio, Texas

Submitted by:

NASUCA Electricity Committee

Larry Frimerman, OH, Chairman
Angela Kennedy, D.C.
Anne E. Becker, IN
Barry Cohen, OH
Blossom Peretz, NJ
Brian Gallagher, DE
Frederick J. Schmidt, NV
George Dean, MA
Gregory Eisenstark, NJ
Irwin A. Popowsky, PA
James Volz, VT
Jim Hurt, GA
Kenneth Traum, NH
M. Shawn McMurray, AR
Matt Steuerwalt, WA
Nancy Vaughn Coombs, SC
Robert Kelter, CUB IL
Ryan Kind, MO
Sandra Mattavous-Frye, D.C.
Scott Cauchois, CA
Steve Corneli, MN
Walker Hendrix, KS