Winning Together: Safeguarding Workers & Communities in Clean Energy Projects

Date: 08/04/2023

The rapid growth of community choice aggregation (CCA) programs in California has paved the way for cleaner energy and community-driven initiatives. However, there is a need for stronger policies to support workers and protect communities. This blog explores our wins, strategy, and ongoing efforts.


In California, community choice aggregation (CCA) programs power more than 200 California cities and counties, serving more than 11 million customers, and supplying 40+% of the state’s electricity. CCAs are responsible for buying or constructing the majority of California’s clean energy projects and funding community resilience and electrification programs.

However, unlike the monopoly utilities, CCA programs, which are public and locally controlled, generally lack strong and uniform policies that guide high-road procurement and contracting practices, thus falling short of industry standards and best practices. Currently, CCAs prioritize financial considerations, leading to weak or non-existent policies and practices that fail to support and protect workers and the communities hosting their clean energy projects.

That’s where our work comes in.

Over the last fifteen years, diverse groups of activists and organizations across the state have collaborated to create the CCAs that benefit countless Californians today. Our efforts have been centered on shaping CCAs to achieve environmental justice for those harmed by the fossil fuel economy, and to generate equitable community benefits such as affordability, energy resiliency, and good jobs. Our fight continues as we strive to adopt strong and uniform workforce and environmental justice standards across California’s CCAs. Together with our allies in labor, climate, and environmental justice, we have developed a policy resolution compiling industry standards that address workforce and environmental justice for CCA clean energy projects. Our statewide alliance of more than 35 organizations actively advocates for the adoption of these policies by the ten member CCAs of CA Community Power, a CCA joint-procurement agency.


The overall strategy is to adopt strong workforce and environmental justice standards consistent with our policy resolution at a majority of member CCAs of CA Community Power. With the support of these CCAs, we will move CC Power to adopt the same standards, effectively establishing an industry-wide best practice covering a majority of CA’s CCAs.

Practically speaking, the campaign targets two CCAs per quarter for adopting the policy resolution, while also preparing two to four additional CCAs for future action in the subsequent quarter. Our ultimate goal is to see strong policy adopted at CC Power by year-end.


To date, our campaign has primarily focused on CleanPower SF, Peninsula Clean Energy, and Central Coast Community Energy. While it takes time to develop campaigns and secure a place on their agendas, we have had great success in advancing our policy principles, resulting in wins at all three of these CCAs.

Currently, we are laying the groundwork for the next phase of action, starting with East Bay Community Energy and Redwood Coast Energy Authority, followed by campaigns at San Jose Clean Energy and Silicon Valley Clean Energy.


Collaboration among advocates of labor, climate, and environmental justice is crucial to:

  • Safeguard workers from wage-theft and exploitation while ensuring public investments in clean energy and electrification adhere to high-road standards.

  • Scale a skilled and trained workforce capable of rapidly electrifying the entire economy.

  • Target recruitment from historically and presently excluded groups to provide economic mobility for disadvantaged and underrepresented workers.

  • Grow a strong political alliance that advances our common mission to protect workers, support communities, and take action against the climate crisis.


To date, Let’s Green CA! has provided primary funding and staff support. We’re building essential bridges between the labor, climate, and environmental justice movements, and our campaign is ready to expand its reach and size. Your generous support can ensure that we achieve our goal of adopting workforce and environmental justice standards for clean energy projects at CCAs in Northern California this year!

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