Local governments throughout California are forming community-owned agencies that operate Community Choice Energy (CCE) programs to deliver cleaner, competitively priced electricity to their customers through the existing utility. Each CCE is governed locally, partnering with the current utility to deliver electricity over existing lines, maintain the lines, send bills, respond to power outages and provide customer service. The only change that customers may see is an additional line on their bill with the name of their new CCE and their Electric Generation Charges

Once a community establishes a CCE, electricity customers will now have a choice, where there was no choice before, as to where they get their energy from and how clean it is. CCE electricity is comprised of lower greenhouse gasses and more renewable energy sources than the investor-owned utilities, and is also slightly less expensive and locally controlled. Customers who want to further the demand for more clean power may choose to voluntarily upgrade for higher percentages of renewable electricity.

Through state law, AB 117 (2002), enrollment for Community Choice Energy programs is automatic. Therefore, electricity customers in areas with a CCE do not need to do anything to receive cleaner power and prices equal to or lower than the existing utility. Along with helping our communities decrease their greenhouse gases emissions, CCEs reinvest net revenues locally and create clean energy programs to benefit local customers.

Existing CCEs include: Apple Valley Choice Energy, serving the Town of Apple Valley, CleanPowerSF, serving the city and county of San Francisco; Lancaster Choice Energy, serving the City of Lancaster; MCE Clean Energy, serving Marin, Napa and parts of Contra Costa County; Peninsula Clean Energy, serving San Mateo County; Redwood Coast Energy Authority, serving Humboldt County; Sonoma Clean Power, serving Sonoma and Mendocino counties; and Silicon Valley Clean Energy, serving a majority of Santa Clara County communities.

How you know an entity is legitimately from a locally formed CCE:

  • CCEs are not privately held, for-profit companies, they are public agencies with full transparency
  • CCEs do not solicit customers or ask you for your personal information, unless you call their customer service with specific questions about the new service
  • CCEs are electricity providers, not just a carbon offset program
  • CCEs often offer voluntary upgrades to 100% renewable offerings that are cheaper than any other 100% renewable option for customers
  • CCEs return revenue to customers via competitively-priced electricity generation rates, clean energy programs and investing in or building additional renewable energy supplies.

For more information about CCEs on the California Community Choice Association website at www.cal-cca.org/. Call your local Town or City Council to find out if they are already forming a Community Choice organization.

Article provided by Silicon Valley Clean Energy.

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