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Electric Aggregation: What it is and What it Means to You

What is Electricity Aggregation?

Electricity deregulation brought choice to the electricity market: While you can’t decide what company delivers your electricity, residents and businesses in deregulated areas can choose among various retail electricity providers for the actual supply of the electricity.

Some states have allowed communities to join together to shop around for electricity on behalf of everyone – in order to secure low rates for all citizens. These agreements with communities and a retail electricity supplier are called electric aggregation supply agreements and the ability to do this is called community choice aggregation. Generally, a community votes for such an agreement, and then a committee chooses a provider on behalf of its residents and small business owners. Citizens don’t have to do anything after a supply agreement is made; they’re automatically switched to the new provider for the duration of the agreement.

How do I know I’m getting the best rates?

The only way to know if you’re receiving the best rates is to shop around by comparing available retail electricity providers in your area.

The committees that choose the aggregation provider generally look for more than rate pricing when making a selection. For instance, committees may require that the new provider is reputable and has been established for quite some time, they may look at the financial history of the company, and in some cases they may require that the provider supplies 100% renewable electricity. Because of these and other factors, customers will likely find that an alternative provider has lower rates.

My Community Participates in Electric Aggregation. Can I switch?

Some communities allow you to opt out of aggregation at any time. Others have set periods that you are able to opt out and choose an alternative retail electricity provider. You should contact your community’s Mayor’s office or other similar official to inquire about this.

Am I currently participating in Electricity Aggregation?

The states of Massachusetts, California, and Illinois are allowed to participate in community choice aggregation. Illinois communities, especially are participating in great numbers, with well over 400 electric aggregation agreements across the state and more to come. If your community has signed up, you’ve likely heard about it on the news or from friends and neighbors. To be sure, you can contact your Mayor’s or community leader’s office.

I’ve got it. How do I Compare & Switch?

At the top of this page, you’ll find an easy, free tool that helps you compare providers and their rates. Simply type in your zip code to get started. From here, you can easily switch providers through an online form if you choose to do so. You also may want to read this section on how to effectively compare plans and providers.