Community Choice Energy
Community Choice Energy (CCE), also known as Community Choice Aggregation, enables local governments to leverage the purchasing power of their residents, businesses, and governmental entities to purchase or generate power for their communities. When the State of California deregulated the energy market in 1997, many Californians switched to energy providers other than the investor-owned utilities. Following the energy crisis of 2000-01, the state suspended consumer choice of electricity providers. As a response to the closing of the open market, Assembly Bill 117 was passed in 2002, establishing CCE.
Image used with the permission of LEAN Energy U.S.
Benefits of CCE
The CCE model puts energy purchasing and pricing options into the hands of local decision-makers and allows the community to determine what type of energy mix serves its needs. In many cases, existing CCE programs around the state have been able to offer energy with a higher renewable energy content at rates that are competitive with the existing utility's rates. Because a CCE operates as a local non-profit, CCE revenues can also be reinvested in the community in the form of clean energy projects and incentive programs, both of which can spur local economic opportunities.
CCE introduces competition into the marketplace and provides customers with a choice about the energy sources they wish to support.
CCE is typically run by a non-profit public agency, accountable not to shareholders, but to the communities it serves. Surplus funds may be reinvested locally in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and jobs.
CCE may help communities achieve their climate action goals by lowering energy-related greenhouse gas emissions through cleaner, renewable energy choices.
CCE may provide customers renewable energy options at rates competitive with Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison.
Central Coast Power
Central Coast Power is a consortium of local governments that has formed to explore the feasibility of a Community Choice Energy (CCE) program that could serve San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura County electric utility customers. All 27 jurisdictions in the tri-county region currently served by Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison are included in a feasibility study to determine whether CCE is appropriate for the region.
Advisory Working Group
An Advisory Working Group (AWG) oversees the effort and provides feedback during the CCE exploration process. The AWG includes representatives from the counties of Santa Barbara (lead agency), San Luis Obispo, and Ventura and the cities of Camarillo, Carpinteria, Moorpark, Ojai, Santa Barbara, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, and Ventura.