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We’re often asked “What do you look for when considering CCA in a new state?”  “Where does it work best?”  The truth is, there’s no single answer nor is it always a straight path to CCA adoption. Why? Because regulatory frameworks, electric power markets and policies/politics are very different around the country.

Let’s start with some basic context. At the 50,000 foot level, the US operates within 10 electric power markets and 3 regulatory frameworks[1]:

  1. Regulated/Un-Restructured– Vertically integrated investor-owned utilities (IOUs) are the sole source provider of both electric/gas generation and transmission services. It’s a one-stop shopping monopoly model with guaranteed rates of return, centralized oversight and no market competition or customer choice. Over half of US states operate in fully regulated energy markets including WA, UT, AZ, MN and FL.

  2. De-regulated/Restructured – In restructured states, the utility function has been split to allow for electric (and in some cases, gas) supply to be provided by retail energy suppliers on a competitive basis.  The utility gets out of the power generation business and is a “poles and wire” company providing power transmission, distribution, line maintenance and some programs. Examples of deregulated/restructured markets are TX, NY, MA and IL.

  3. Partially De-Regulated – These states maintain a vertically integrated utility structure but allow some customer classes, usually large commercial and industrial, to access the wholesale, competitive market to procure power for their load. Small commercial, municipal and residential accounts continue to be served on a regulated, monopoly basis by the IOU. Examples of partially de-regulated states are: CA, OR, NV, MI and PA, VA.


CCAs are authorized at the state level in one of two ways: 1) through State legislation or 2) through regulation.  Of the states in which CCA currently exists, six are de-regulated (IL, OH, MA, NY, RI, NH and NJ), two are partially de-regulated (CA and VA), and zero are in fully regulated states… although we aim to change that.  Please see our “What is CCA” page for links to state statutes/enabling legislation.


Although there are some similarities depending on which electric power market a state operates in, each state has differences including existing regulations, state energy policies, political leadership and customer base. That said, we’ve identified 5 considerations when determining where CCA might work best [2]:

  1. Partially deregulated or restructured energy market

  2. States with aggressive renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and other clean energy goals

  3. Legislative or public action to explore electric competition and/or greater use of clean power (e.g. NV’s 2018 Energy Choice Initiative; Oregon’s SB 978)

  4. Local government interest in CCA

  5. Electric rates and customer dissatisfaction with incumbent utility

  • In 2017, the Oregon Legislature passed SB 978 requiring the OPUC to establish a public process for investigating industry trends, technologies and policy drivers []

  • SB 978 ignited a dialogue on how Oregonians can better manage their energy future. We believe CCA is a compelling option that can achieve many of the state’s goals.

  • In April, 2019, Nevada passed a bill that would require the state to generate 50% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2030 and aim for 100% carbon-free resources by 2050. (SB 358)

  • Following a move in 2016 by several casinos to access the wholesale power market, the Energy Choice Initiative received enough signatures to place it on the state ballot for NV’s 2018 General Election

  • If passed, Ballot question 3 would require State legislature to establish an open, competitive retail market that prohibits the granting of monopolies and exclusive franchises for the generation of electricity by 2023.


In January, 2021, Colorado Governor Jared Polis presented a new plan to reduce greenhouse gas pollution with a goal of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2040.

In April, 2021 HB21-1269 was introduced by Colorado State Rep. Edie Hooton (D-Boulder). The bill would direct the state’s Public Utilities Commission to study the feasibility of CCA. It is currently being discussed in the House, after passing out of the Appropriations Committee on May 14, 2021.

Click here to view a presentation LEAN made to Colorado’s Energy Legislation Review Interim Committee in November, 2019.

In the News:


Several cities have indicated interest in the CCA model.  Click here for LEAN’s recent presentation to AZ-ISA.

In the News:

Arizona regulators toss 3-year effort for 100% clean energy mandate. May 7, 2021, Utility Dive


The City of Ann Arbor is leading the CCA efforts in Michigan and is working with local legislators to draft legislation that they hope to see introduced “in the near future” (see January, 2021 article HERE). 

In the News:

Ann Arbor to lobby Michigan legislature for power to choose electricity sources., January 14, 2021

DTE Energy raises concerns about Ann Arbor’s plan for 100% renewable energy., June 3, 2021

Power outages lead to renewed talks of creating public electric utility for Ann Arbor., August 24, 2021

DTE Energy hopes Ann Arbor nixes idea of creating its own electric utility., August 24, 2021


  2. LEAN defines ‘best’ as CCA programs that have a triple bottom line: more customer choice, more affordable rates, more clean power.

Page last updated 8/28/21