Demand for Renewable Energy via Green Electricity versus Solar Installation in Community Choice Aggregation


Consumers can procure renewable energy via subscribing to green electricity from their utility for a price premium (or virtual option) or installing residential solar (or physical option). From economic theory, these options can be framed as substitutes (choosing between) or complements (choosing both). To test for this relationship, this study estimates how subscriptions to green electricity influence demand for residential solar installations using data from 21 towns served by Cape Light Compact, one of the oldest Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs in the United States. Regression analysis suggests that virtual and physical options are treated as substitutes. An increase in the relative price of solar installation is correlated with fewer solar installations and a higher demand for green electricity. However, the price of green electricity does not explain residential solar installations. This has implications for the marketing of renewable procurement options and long-term planning for distributed versus utility-scale renewables.



Second Department

Engineering Management and Systems Engineering


Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Grant G-2020-13916

Keywords and Phrases

Community Choice Aggregation; Consumer Demand; Green Electricity; Solar Photovoltaics; Substitutes; Voluntary Procurement

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1879-0682; 0960-1481

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2022 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2022