Community Choice Energy
Local, Clean & Competitive Energy that is Our Choice
Our vision is that everyone in the San Diego region will be fully powered by local clean energy
One of the best tools we can use to get there is Community Choice Energy
What Is Community Choice Energy? Recognizing that local residents and businesses wanted to choose more renewable power sources, stabilize rates, and invest revenues into projects that have a positive effect on the local community, the state legislature enacted Assembly Bill 117 in 2002. AB 117 allows cities and counties to establish nonprofit electricity providers in order to purchase power on behalf of their populations. It’s called Community Choice Aggregation in the bill, but around the state we call it Community Choice Energy.
How Would Community Choice Benefit Us?
• More renewables at competitive rates. Community Choice providers, such as the two already at work in California, offer their customers much more clean energy than the monopoly utility company. For instance, in Sonoma County customers can choose 33% or 100% clean energy plans and in Marin County customers can choose 50% or 100% plans. In both places the rates for residential and business customers in the 33% and 50% plans are beating PG&E outright. People are paying less with Choice and getting more clean energy than the monopoly offers. And the 100% plans don’t cost much more if people would like to go full green.
• Local control. With Community Choice a local board of directors would make decisions, such as rate setting, in public meetings using a process that encourages public participation and values transparency. Community Choice is a nonprofit that is accountable to its customers not shareholders.
• Local reinvestment. Millions of dollars leave San Diego County each year to pay for electric generation. Not with Community Choice. Over time, a Community Choice provider would buy increasing amounts of power from local sources, such as rooftop solar, while serving as a catalyst for local job creation.
Would Community Choice Replace SDG&E? A Community Choice electricity provider in San Diego would buy power on behalf of its customers and it would set electricity rates. SDG&E would continue to do the billing, own and maintain the electrical grid, and handle all emergencies.
How Is Community Choice Funded? Community Choice providers are entirely self-funded by revenues they receive from customers. None of their expenses are paid by taxes, and their revenues cannot be diverted to pay for non-Community Choice uses. They have a minimal staff, and they keep their prices competitive by negotiating for all of their customers as a group and by the fact that they don’t have to charge extra to generate a profit for shareholders.
More Details, Please: For an excellent overview of how Community Choice works visit Sonoma Clean Power’s FAQ page at: www.sonomacleanpower.org.
Will We Get Community Choice In San Diego? We are working at it and we are getting closer. The City of San Diego could be our first city in the county to launch Community Choice. The City is overseeing a feasibility study that will be completed this year. Also, Mayor Faulconer and the City Council included Community Choice in the City’s draft Climate Action Plan as a potential action item.
I Would Like To Help: Contact Pete Hasapopoulos, Sierra Club My Generation Campaign, firstname.lastname@example.org or 760.580.0117.