An aggregator is an entity that combines end-use customers or distributed energy assets into groups for the purpose of participating in wholesale markets. Aggregators do not provide distribution services as these are provided by the distribution utility. Examples of aggregators include the following:
- Core aggregators: Retail marketers that combine end-use customer accounts for the purpose of buying blocks of natural gas or electric supply in wholesale markets for resale to those customers. In some regions that allow direct customer choice for larger customers, core aggregators provide a mechanism for retail and small commercial customers to participate in customer choice programs.
- Community choice aggregators (also called municipal aggregators): Municipal governments or other governmental entities that purchase gas or electric supply for their citizens as an alternative to supply provided by the utility company.
- Demand response aggregators (also called curtailment service providers): Independent companies that contract with end-use customers for commitments to participate in demand response programs. The aggregators then create blocks of demand response that can be sold in wholesale capacity or energy markets.
- Distributed energy resource aggregators: Independent companies that contract with owners of distributed energy resources (DERs) for commitments to participate in wholesale markets. The aggregators then create blocks of DERs that can be sold in wholesale capacity or energy markets. They may aggregate demand response, distributed generation, and/or distributed storage.