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CalCCA 2024 Annual Conference Takeaways

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TS is a trusted communications partner of many CCAs across California. 

Tripepi Smith is a trusted partner to community choice aggregators (CCAs) across California. To amplify our capacity to effectively communicate with residents and customers on behalf of our CCA clients, Principal Katherine Griffiths, Senior Business Analyst Karen Villasenor, Business Analyst Peter Johnson and Junior Business Analysts Kiran Kruse and Daniel Ceruti attended the California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) 2024 Annual Conference in San Jose to learn about trends and developments in the space.

While staffing the conference, members of Tripepi Smith’s team attended informative panels and presentations and talked with CCA leadership about where the industry may be headed. Here’s what we learned:

  • We’ve come a long way! In his keynote address, California Energy Commission Chair David Hochschild took time to reflect on the tremendous headway California has made in its clean energy transition and the important role CCAs have played in that progress. A renewable energy trailblazer, California is home to the world’s largest thin-film solar PV project, geothermal power plant, battery storage project and solar rooftop. “We are planting the seeds for a future we can be proud to pass on to our children and grandchildren,” said Hochschild. CCAs have driven California’s worldwide leadership in green energy.
  • There is still lots of work to be done. The road to a future powered by clean energy is long and winding; the steps we take today are the foundation upon which change will happen years from now. While we are trending in the right direction, almost 40% of electricity consumed in California still comes from fossil fuels. As a state, we have ambitious goals to transition to 90% clean electricity by 2035 and 100% clean electricity by 2045. Attaining these goals will require buy-in from residents and businesses throughout California, as well as continued innovation and development of new technologies.
  • Future frontiers – Older, developed technologies like solar, wind and hydroelectric power generation have spearheaded the growth of renewable energy in California and beyond. Now CCAs are investing in battery storage technologies that may unlock a host of new ways to power homes and businesses with clean energy. Keynote Speaker and Director of the Applied Energy Division at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Steve Eglash hopes that innovative new technologies like advanced batteries and geothermal energy plants can help to decarbonize industry in California and ensure abundant and affordable energy for everyone as equity and accessibility issues advance.
  • It takes all of us. If innovation was the central theme of the conference, its prime complement was collaboration. While the CalCCA Annual Conference is geared toward CCA staff and leaders, the conference was well-attended by an impressive range of sustainability professionals. Major tech companies like Microsoft and Google, power developers, government energy organizations from neighboring states and more participated on panels at the conference. It is clear that CCAs have supporters across the energy landscape and that a collective effort will be needed to reach the goals we’ve set for ourselves.

The insights gained at the CalCCA Annual Conference have already begun to shape Tripepi Smith’s work with our CCA clients and will continue to do so in the future. It is clear that CCAs have a group of incredibly talented and passionate people working together to make a difference in their communities. But, their success requires buy-in from everyone. A CCA’s ability to communicate its purpose and the benefits it provides to its customers is crucial to its long-term health and impact. An effective communications campaign can help a CCA grow and build momentum within its community, amplifying its impact and maximizing customer benefit.

Tripepi Smith’s CCA CommuniCAtor Insights series examines aspects of and best practices for communicating the value and impact of CCAs to ensure community messaging is reaching and engaging key audiences to promote their involvement.