An aggregator is any organization or individual that brings retail energy customers together as a group with the objective of obtaining better prices, service, or other benefits when acquiring energy or related services.
Vertically-integrated utilities and energy cooperatives will commonly act as aggregators for the energy customers they represent, grouping and organizing them to achieve optimum price and efficiency. By this definition, an aggregator could refer to anything from a business association or municipality to a tenants' association or industrial co-op. A branch of a municipal energy utility could even act as an aggregator for a particular group of consumers.
Aggregators need not be allied with, or overseen by, the customers they serve. Energy brokers will often act as aggregators as a way of obtaining better prices or services for their customers while providing administrative and other benefits to energy producers. But in this context, aggregation is usually done in the interest of the customer rather than the producer.
Aggregators often assume other roles to provide efficiencies and savings to customers, and may be responsible for planning, scheduling, accounting, billing and settlement, or virtually any aspect of energy management other than production and consumption.
See also:consumer, aggregation, vertical integration, co-op, broker, marketer