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OUR PROGRESS TO DATE

Thanks to a tremendous level of community support and engagement, including a decade of advocacy from Community Environmental Council and others, in 2019 multiple cities in our region, as well as one county, committed to joining or starting Community Choice Energy programs. Most opted to join the established Monterey Bay Community Power program, which has been running successfully for several years. The City of Santa Barbara voted to form their own Community Choice program. The City of Lompoc has its own municipal utility and the City of Buellton declined to discuss the matter. The County of San Luis Obispo is conducting additional studies on joining Monterey Bay Community Power, and the City of Atascadero declined to join.

The following agencies will be served by Monterey Bay Community Power starting in 2021:

  • Arroyo Grande
  • Carpinteria
  • Goleta
  • Grover Beach
  • Guadalupe
  • Morro Bay (starts 2020)
  • Paso Robles
  • Pismo Beach
  • San Luis Obispo (starts 2020)
  • Santa Barbara County
  • Santa Maria
  • Solvang

The City of Santa Barbara is starting its own Community Choice program.

In early 2019, Clean Power Alliance began serving 100% renewable electricity as a default option to Ventura County and the cities of Thousand Oaks, Ventura, Ojai, and Oxnard. Camarillo, Moorpark, and Simi Valley are also members of Clean Power Alliance.

Learn more about Clean Power Alliance, the Community Choice program that many agencies in Ventura County have joined.

HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION

Speak Up
Advocate for Community Choice in cities that have yet to adopt this model. You can also encourage local governments to provide more 100% renewable energy options and effective local programming to help residents and businesses adopt clean energy technologies. Email CEC’s Director of Energy and Climate Programs Michael Chiacos at [email protected], and he will update you on meetings and opportunities as they are scheduled.

Stay Informed

Share With Friends
Pass on what you’ve learned about this powerful new clean energy tool to friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and anyone else in your network.

WHAT CEC IS DOING

Leading Advocacy Efforts
CEC advocates at local government hearings, subcommittee meetings, and with key staff and elected officials for local agencies to start Community Choice Energy programs.

Building Partnerships
CEC created and leads Santa Barbara County Energy Choice – a coalition of individuals, businesses, and organizations – to pursue Community Choice Energy in the Central Coast.

Raising Awareness
CEC gives talks on Community Choice Energy at a variety of awareness-raising events and public forums, including panel discussions, city council meetings, and community gatherings. We have also actively worked to educate the public through social media and video campaigns, and created a website, SBCEnergyChoice.org, where people can go to get more information. These efforts helped inspire Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo Counties – as well as several cities – to first study the feasibility of a local program, and in many cases, move forward to adopting a Community Choice program.

WHY COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY MATTERS

In our 2007 carbon-neutral plan A New Energy Direction: A Blueprint for Santa Barbara County, we identified Community Choice Energy (CCE) as the single most effective way our region could collectively move to renewable energy. Simply put, CCE is a new way to get cleaner electricity to local homes and businesses and provide greater local control over how that electricity is sourced.

  • Local governments create a new public agency responsible for purchasing and producing electricity.
  • The utility remains responsible for delivering that electricity, maintaining lines and handling billing.
  • Communities gain control over their power supply.

Existing programs in Marin, Sonoma, Lancaster, Monterey, and elsewhere show that Community Choice Energy provides a wide range of benefits:

Choice
CCE introduces competition into the marketplace and provides customers with a choice about the energy sources they wish to support

Community
CCE is typically run by a public agency, accountable to the community, not shareholders. Surplus funds may be reinvested locally in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and jobs.

Sustainability
CCE may help communities achieve their climate action goals by lowering energy-related greenhouse gas emissions through cleaner, renewable energy choices. Monterey Bay Community Power’s default offering is 100% carbon-free, and they also offer a 100% California solar and wind choice. Clean Power Alliance offers 100% renewable energy as a default option in many cities in Ventura County and other areas of its service territory.

Economics
CCE may provide customers renewable energy options at rates competitive with Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison. Monterey Bay Community Power is expected to generate $44 million in surplus revenue in 2019, which will fund customer rebates, programs, and reserves.

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