March 27, 2020 - Communities are taking back the power (literally) with Community Choice Energy. Learn about how a CCE works, benefits of a CCE, and all about San Diego Community Power (SDCP), the CCE of which Encinitas is a partner.
What is Community Choice Energy?
A Community Choice Energy (CCE) program, also known as Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), allows local governments to procure energy for their residents, businesses, and municipal facilities. The CCE purchases energy from a mix of suppliers and distributes energy to its customers using the powerlines, poles, and other infrastructure serviced by the existing utility provider, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) (EPA).
CCEs are popping up all over California! Here’s why.
As of March 2020, 170 California towns, cities, counties have Community Choice Energy Providers. CCE programs gives residents and businesses an opportunity to purchase electricity from local government agencies and gives local governments the authority to manage energy resources on behalf of their communities and customers. CCEs can provide many environmental, social, and economic benefits to California communities because local choice is central to the concept of CCEs. It gives the communities themselves the power to make choices about energy resource portfolios and investments, both within and from outside their local service area. It also empowers communities to reinvest locally with programs that address economic, social, and environmental justice goals (CalCCA).
Encinitas is a CCE partner!
In September 2019, Encinitas City Council voted unanimously to form a CCE program and joined San Diego Community Power (SDCP), along with the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, and La Mesa.
The agency is in its early stages and will spend 2020 preparing to purchase and deliver electricity to residents and businesses in 2021. SDCP’s goal is to deliver 100% renewable energy to its customers by 2035 or sooner; however, customers will have the option to opt-up to 100% renewable at the start of the program.
Some of SDCP’s features include:
- It is community-based, making SDCP accountable to the people they serve, not company shareholders
- It will offer clean energy at competitive rates
- Customers have the choice to get their electricity from SDCP or opt for service from SDG&E
- Down the road, SDCP can opt to fund local green energy projects and energy efficiency programs.
What does this mean for residents?
When SDCP begins to serve electricity, customers will automatically be opted into the program and will likely not notice any change other than a line item on their utility bill that replaces the SDG&E electric generation charges. Customers may remain with SDG&E by choosing to opt-out of the CCE program through a simple request.