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How It Works

How Community Choice Aggregation Works


Pioneer procures your energy.



PG&E delivers energy, maintains lines, and sends bills.



You get a choice in your power – competitive and stable rates, energy options, and exceptional customer service.

Pioneer is a Community Choice Aggregator (CCA)

We offer smarter choices for energy options.

What is a Community Choice Aggregator (CCA)?

CCAs are not-for-profit public agencies that purchase electricity for residents and businesses in the community, disrupting the long-held monopoly of investor-owned utilities and encouraging competition. Pioneer is one of 24 operational CCAs in California. Other states with deregulated energy markets have seen the formation of CCAs, which are managed by municipalities or other not-for-profit agencies similar to Pioneer Community Energy.

Since their inception in California, CCAs have led to more competitive energy rates and improved electric service across the state. CCAs work with the Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) like PG&E to deliver your power and maintain the energy grid we all rely upon.  

Community Choice Aggregators in California

Over 14 million customers have chosen to join a California Community Choice Aggregator. In 2024 there are 24 operational CCA programs in California, serving more than 200 cities, towns and counties in the state.

Buying Power of CCAs

Community Choice Aggregators act just like traditional power companies, they pool power loads among participants to create buying power for this essential resource – energy. In the case of Pioneer, the combined energy needs of the businesses and residents in our service areas are used to purchase reliable power at competitive rates.

As a CCA, what makes Pioneer different from existing power company structures?

Our primary objective is powering our community with competitive rates, not earning shareholder profits. Like most CCAs, Pioneer is nimble in our efforts to source and search for power in a manner that traditional IOUs are not. Historically, Pioneer secures electricity for our customers at a significantly lower cost than the alternative Investor Owned Utility.

This tested pooling strategy keeps rates stable and service exceptional and provides a choice in energy options. Our customers don’t notice any difference in service – but the power is leveraged to maximize benefits to you and the community.

How Pioneer Community Energy Works

  • Pioneer is led by a board of directors, made up of locally elected officials.
  • The public is invited to take part in all public meetings such as: Board meetings, Advisory Committee meetings and Audit and Finance Committee meetings.
  • Pioneer staff live in the communities they serve. Our customers are our neighbors.
  • Pioneer’s board has made the decision to pass on real savings to our customers.
  • Pioneer’s Board of Directors approved a 2021 – 2024 Strategic Plan. All decisions are made in support of the identified priorities.
  • All financial decisions, including annual budgets and rate setting are presented to the Audit and Finance Committee. Upon approval, the items are presented to the entire board. All items must be approved by the Board of Directors.
  • Board meetings are held monthly. During these meetings items are presented to the board on various topics.  Some items are informational and some require board action.
  • The Executive Director, reports to the Board of Directors, provides a monthly report in which a summary of staff activities are shared with the board and the public.
  • All contracts and agendized documents are available for public review at any time. Links to download Pioneer contracts and agendized documents can be found on our Key Documents and Meeting and Agenda’s pages.
  • Pioneer’s Board of Directors is made up of locally elected officials. To meet them visit our Meet our Board page.
  • Decisions about rates, policies and procurement come from locally elected officials, not the Public Utilities Commission located in the Bay Area. 
  • Public meetings are held to discuss rates, annual budgets and impacts to the business operations.
  • Pioneer is not controlled by investors or a board from around the world. Our leadership are members of your community.
  • Board members are not compensated and their primary goal is low and stable energy rates.
  • Board members serve on behalf of their constituents and are appointed by their respective councils or board of supervisors.

History of Pioneer Community Energy

Pioneer Community Energy is a local not-for-profit provider of electricity — we power the communities we serve with competitive rates, exceptional service and a choice in energy options.

Pioneer was formed in 2017, joining the other California CCAs in providing energy to more than 11 million customers statewide. We started providing electricity services in 2018 to the communities of Auburn, Colfax, Lincoln, Rocklin, Loomis and most of unincorporated Placer County, achieving status as an independent entity in 2021 with the payoff of debts and the hiring of necessary operational staff.

In response to our customers’ requests for a way to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, in 2021 we began offering Green100, a 100% renewable rate option unique to the area.

In 2022 we started providing the same stable and exceptional electric service to most of unincorporated El Dorado County and the City of Placerville.

Our Board of Directors consists of 11 locally elected representatives from El Dorado and Placer County Boards of Supervisors, and the City Councils of Auburn, Colfax, Grass Valley, Lincoln, Placerville, Rocklin, Nevada City, and the Town Council of Loomis.

How Pioneer Was Formed

2017 Formation

Placer County and the City of Colfax formed Pioneer Community Energy in February 2017 to provide power to residents and businesses served by PG&E in Placer County.

2017 Expansion

The cities of Auburn, Lincoln, Rocklin and the Town of Loomis joined Pioneer in Spring 2017.

2018 Operational Launch

Pioneer launched (and began providing electricity) for the Placer County area and the participating cities in February 2018.

2020 Expansion

In early 2020, El Dorado County and Placerville approached Pioneer about becoming a member. The CPUC approved the expansion plan for El Dorado County and Placerville in March 2021 and Pioneer started providing service to those areas in January 2022.