Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), also known as Government, Municipal, or Community Energy Aggregation (depending on the state), is a program that allows local governments to bid and choose an energy supplier for their communities. Community Aggregations have proven to be an effective means for many municipalities to provide exclusive pricing on gas or electric rates for residents and businesses and support the sustainable energy goals of the community. Aggregation programs are currently authorized in seven states, however, most of these CCA legislations were passed by voters in the early 2000s which is often why so many people aren’t aware of Community Choice Aggregation or that their community participates in such a program. Energy Harbor services three of those seven states: Illinois, New Jersey, and Ohio.

How does it work?

While the local utility still handles the delivery (distribution) to homes, schools, and local businesses, communities can leverage their collective purchasing power to get a competitive market rate for its members. It’s important to note that participation is voluntary, and residents and businesses have the option to opt out within the opt out period or may leave the program at any time.

Benefits for Energy Harbor Aggregation Communities

There are several benefits to homes, businesses, and local governments participating in a Community Choice Aggregation program and even more when Energy Harbor is your aggregation partner. 

Communities aggregate their demand to gain bargaining power and negotiate competitive prices with suppliers. This often results in exclusive electricity prices for its members. Energy Harbor is a fully integrated natural gas and electricity provider, as well as an independent power producer capable of generating substantial carbon-free energy.  Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, the company proudly serves nearly one million residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, and Michigan

Local utilities often do not offer green electric supply options, so aggregation deals are vital to meeting community sustainability objectives. Energy Harbor’s nuclear generation fleet positions us to offer 100% Carbon-Free electric solutions and ensure clean energy equal to your community’s usage is being delivered to the grid.

Community Choice Aggregation gives communities more local control over their natural gas and electricity choices – in terms of suppliers as well as energy sources.  As both an electricity generator and supplier, we provide affordable access to a suite of energy options to meet your household needs. 

Residents will not face any enrollments fees upon starting with their community’s chosen supplier. It’s important to note, you are in not obligated to stay with the chosen supplier and have the option to opt-out within the opt-out period. With Energy Harbor, you can also chose to leave the program at anytime without any cancellation or early termination fees. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Energy Harbor is a fully integrated retail energy provider and independent power producer capable of generating substantial carbon-free energy. Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, the company proudly serves nearly one million residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, and Michigan. Over 200 communities in Ohio, Illinois, and New Jersey have chosen Energy Harbor to provide community choice aggregation programs.

Community choice aggregation is an easy and effective way for a large group of consumers to get exclusive pricing on their electric and gas bills. Some states, such as Ohio, Illinois, and New Jersey, have laws that allow for communities to form aggregated buying groups to purchase gas and electric generation on behalf of their citizens. By bringing citizens together, the aggregation gains group buying power, and the community typically can negotiate a more competitive rate with a certified generation supplier than each aggregation group member could have negotiated individually. The community or governmental aggregator then selects a certified electric or gas generation supplier that can deliver the best value to all members in its group.

Members of your community voted to allow your locally elected officials to contract for a gas and/or electric generation supplier on behalf of the community. These types of programs are available to residents and small businesses in Ohio and Illinois. 

 

For residents and small businesses in New Jersey, new aggregation programs are agreed upon by a majority vote by the municipality's elected body and then approved by the Board of Public Utilities.

Once a supplier has been selected, all eligible residents and small businesses in the community will be notified, automatically enrolled, and will begin receiving the generation pricing under the program. Eligible residents and small businesses do not need to do anything to join the program. 

 

Visit our Find Your Program page to see if your community already has an aggregation program with Energy Harbor.

If your community has an aggregation program supplied by Energy Harbor, it will be listed on our Find Your Program page.

The main benefit of community choice aggregation is the exclusive pricing. Due to the purchasing power of a community choice aggregation program, most communities get a more competitive rate than if they were to get rates from a supplier individually.

 

 

There are several benefits to community choice aggregation programs. These include: 

  • Competitive, fixed energy rates – Communities leverage their group purchasing power to negotiate competitive rates. The competitive supplier will provide residents with exclusive, fixed energy rates for price protection and bill stability.
  • Clean energy options – Local utilities are often unable to offer clean energy options like competitive suppliers can. Community choice aggregation programs allow communities to meet sustainability objectives by negotiating competitive rates on renewable energy and carbon-free plans.
  • Choice and control - Community choice aggregation programs give communities more local control over their energy choices – in terms of suppliers as well as energy sources. 
  • Risk-free - Residents and small businesses will not be charged enrollment or switching fees upon starting with their community’s chosen supplier, nor are they required to remain with that chosen supplier. Anyone has the option to opt out of the community choice aggregation program within the opt out period or may leave the program at any time without penalty.

Yes. Eligible community members are notified by mail and automatically enrolled with the chosen supplier unless they choose not to participate in the community choice aggregation program. Participation is completely voluntary, so you may opt out at any time. If you do not opt out within the opt out period outlined in the notification you received, you will be automatically enrolled. However, you are free to leave the aggregation early and may opt out of the program at any time without penalty. We will not contact you again for the remainder of the community’s current contracted term of service.

 

Upon renewal of the aggregation program, all eligible residents and small businesses will be contacted by the community’s chosen supplier regardless of whether they’ve opted out of the previous term of service.

 

For more detailed information related to the opt out process for an Energy Harbor community choice aggregation program, please review the FAQs located on our Opt Out page.

If you recently received a notification with your personalized opt out code from Energy Harbor and wish to opt out by the deadline or leave the program early, you can do so by 1) mailing in the opt out form enclosed with the notification, 2) contacting our call center at 1-866-636-3749, or 3) simply use our online Opt Out Form which requires your personalized opt out code from the notification.

 

Please Note: If a community choice aggregation notification is returned as undelivered for any reason, that eligible resident or small business will be automatically opted out of the community choice aggregation program since the eligible account holder wasn’t given the chance to review the materials and decide for themselves. If the undelivered mail is returned after the opt out deadline, the account may be served by Energy Harbor for 1-2 billing cycles depending on meter-read date.

 

For more detailed information related to the opt out process for an Energy Harbor community choice aggregation program, please review the FAQs located on our Opt Out page. 

Eligible community members who do not want to participate are given the opportunity to cancel the pending enrollment during the opt out period outlined in the community choice aggregation notification they received. In Ohio and Illinois, this is a 21-day period from the mail date of the notification. In New Jersey, residents and small businesses have 30 days to avoid automatic inclusion in the program.

 

If you choose to leave the program early but do so after the opt out deadline communicated in the notification, you may be served and billed for your usage with the community’s selected supplier until the utility is able to return you to their default service offer or your individually chosen supplier on your next available meter read date following the opt out request. In most cases, this can take up to 1-2 billing cycles depending on your meter read date. Residents or small businesses that previously opted out of the program, recently moved, or did not receive the notification letter are still eligible to re-enroll at any time.

 

For more detailed information related to the opt out process for an Energy Harbor community choice aggregation program, please review the FAQs located on our Opt Out page.

Whichever method you choose, if your opt out is not received by the deadline communicated in the notification, you will be automatically included in your community’s choice aggregation program and will begin receiving the exclusive, competitively priced energy from your community’s chosen energy generation supplier.

You can stay with your current energy utility, which will continue to supply your gas or electricity as it always has, or you can shop for an alternative generation supplier.

For all states and utility service territories, residents or small businesses that reside outside the governmental boundaries of a community, are currently enrolled with another supplier, or are part of a Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) are ineligible to be automatically included in a community choice aggregation program. Shoppers may join the program of their own accord at any time. To the extent they can be identified, residents and small businesses who are behind on payments to the utility will not be included in the program.

 

For Ohio Electric: Residents on a special arrangement with the utility such as net-metering and mercantile accounts who have not provided affirmative consent to join are not eligible for the program. Mercantile and medium to large business accounts with usage greater than 700,000 kWh must contact Energy Harbor to join to the program. Residents or small businesses who appear on the Public Utility Commission of Ohio’s (PUCO) Do Not Aggregate list are not included in the program.

 

For Illinois Electric: Small businesses with usage greater than 15,000 kWh are not eligible for aggregation but may choose from other competitive and utility supply offerings. Community solar participants are not eligible. Residents on a special arrangement with the utility, such as net-metering, who have not provided affirmative consent are not automatically included in the program. A net-metering exclusive offer may exist for your community for residents who complete the utility required application and contact the supplier to provide affirmative consent to join an aggregation program.

 

It may not be advantageous for a net-metering participant to shop with a generation supplier. For more detailed information related to net-metering with a supplier and the application process for Illinois, see the net-metering FAQ below and visit our Net-Metering page.

 

For New Jersey Electric: Select rate classes, like small business or residential real-time accounts, may not be eligible based on community requirements for the program. Small business accounts and residents on a special arrangement with the utility, such as net-metering, who have not provided affirmative consent are not automatically included in the program.

 

It may not be advantageous for a net-metering participant to shop with a generation supplier. For more detailed information related to net-metering with a supplier in New Jersey, see the net-metering FAQ below and visit our Net-Metering page.

 

For Ohio Gas: Mercantile and medium to large business accounts with usage greater than 5,000 CCF or 500 MCF per year or who operate 3 or more service locations are not eligible for aggregation.

 

If any account is identified to be in one the above categories after enrollment, a supplier will take the necessary action to return the account to the utility for default service upon the next available meter read date.

You will know if you are enrolled in an Energy Harbor community choice aggregation program if your bill reflects the Energy Harbor price listed above upon your next available meter read date. You will also receive a letter from your electric or gas utility confirming your participation. To become a member of your community’s choice aggregation program, you don’t need to take any action when this letter arrives.

Community choice aggregation programs are required to notify participants of their right to opt out of the aggregation at certain times during the program. 

Fixed price means the price you will receive each month does not change and will remain the same for the entire length of the term of service communicated in the community choice aggregation notification and terms and conditions you receive.

Fixed price means the price you will receive each month does not change. Additionally, your electricity is paired with a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC). A REC represents the environmental benefit of electricity generated by a renewable energy resource like wind or solar. For every unit of renewable energy generated, a REC is created. For every kWh you use, Energy Harbor purchases an equivalent percentage of RECs from a renewable energy source, supporting national renewable electricity production. Unless otherwise stated in the community choice aggregation notification or terms and conditions you receive, the percentage of the RECs paired with your electricity is in addition to the state-minimum.

Fixed price means the price you will receive each month does not change. Carbon-free means the energy you use is backed by Emission Free Energy Certificates (EFECs). The majority of Energy Harbor’s EFECs come from one of our four carbon-free nuclear generation units.

 

For more detailed information on emission free energy, visit our Carbon-Free page.

You’ll know you are benefitting as long as your price with the community choice aggregation supplier is lower than the utility’s Price to Compare (PTC), sometimes called a Standard Service Offer (SSO) or Standard Choice Offer (SCO), communicated on your bill. A utility’s comparable supply price may vary monthly, quarterly, or annually depending on the utility. A competitive supplier’s price is intended to provide residents with exclusive, fixed energy rates for price protection and bill stability for the length of the term of service.

You will continue to receive a single, easy-to-read bill from your local distribution utility with your new supplier charges included. Those charges are based on the exclusive pricing for your community. How you pay your energy bill will not change. If you have automatic deductions from your checking account, you do not need to do anything to retain that service.

Yes, but the specifics of budget billing will vary by state and utility.

 

For Ohio electric customers in Toledo Edison, The Illuminating Company, Ohio Edison, and Duke Energy service territories, and Illinois electric customers in Ameren Illinois and Commonwealth Edison service territories, your utility includes supplier charges in your monthly budgeted amount. For all Ohio gas programs, your natural gas distribution utility will also include supply charges in the monthly budgeted amount. No action is necessary to continue that service.

 

For Ohio electric customers in AES Ohio service territory and New Jersey electric customers in Jersey Central Power and Light and PSE&G service territories, budget billing will automatically be provided to eligible residents who currently have budget billing with their utility and at least 10 months of historical usage at their current service address. If you have less than 10 months of usage, you will still receive the community exclusive pricing offered but will be ineligible to budget the generation supply portion of your bill with Energy Harbor.

 

For Ohio electric customers in AEP Ohio (Ohio Power and Columbus Southern) service territories, Energy Harbor will not automatically budget the generation portion of your electric bill unless explicitly stated otherwise in the “Same Reliable Service” section of the aggregation enrollment notification you received.

 

If you are currently on or enter into a budget billing program after enrolling with Energy Harbor and have at least 10 months of usage with Energy Harbor at your current service address, please call 1-866-636-3749, to determine if a budget billing offer through Energy Harbor is available in your community.

Under budget billing service, Energy Harbor will calculate your budgeted amount based on your average electric usage over the prior months. Periodically, Energy Harbor may examine your budget and may adjust it to more closely match your usage from the previous year. The new budget amount may vary from the level of your current budgeted payment. You will continue to receive a levelized amount from your utility for delivery service and may experience true ups with your utility during the contract. Energy Harbor will conduct a final true-up at the end of the contract - or upon your leaving the program should you opt out before the program’s end date - to reconcile between the actual amount of electricity used and the amount paid under the plan.

Ohio: Energy Harbor does not offer net-metering on supply charges for residents and small businesses. Individuals with this special arrangement should remain with their utility to maintain the benefits of that service.

 

Illinois:  Residents on this special arrangement with the utility who have not provided affirmative consent are not automatically included in an aggregation program. A net-metering exclusive offer may exist for your community for residents who complete the utility required application and contact the supplier to provide affirmative consent to join an aggregation program. However, it may not be advantageous to leave your net-metering arrangement with your utility.

 

For more detailed information or to begin the application process, visit our Net-Metering page.

 

New Jersey: Residents on this special arrangement with the utility who have not provided affirmative consent are not automatically included in an aggregation program. Similar to Illinois, it may not be advantageous for a net-metering participant to shop with a generation supplier. Residents may forfeit credits for electric supply service and delivery service, or both, if they switch to a generation supplier.

 

For more detailed information related to net-metering with a supplier in New Jersey, visit our Net-Metering page.

If you have any questions, wish to leave, or rejoin the program, please call 1-866-636-3749, Monday - Friday, 8 am to 5 pm EST.