Skip to content

District 1 Update

WCN
Jack Duran
July 2016
Community Choice Energy 
 
The Board of Supervisors recently received a presentation from the County Treasurer-Tax Collector, Jenine Windeshausen, on an innovative energy program known as Community Choice Energy (CCE). The program is the result of legislation passed in 2002 that authorized cities and counties to aggregate electrical loads through community choice aggregation programs. More specifically, AB 117 gave local jurisdictions the ability to establish programs to purchase and/or generate electricity and manage power supply portfolios to meet the energy demand requirements for ratepayers in their jurisdictions. 
 
There are a number of benefits to establishing a CCE. The primary benefits of a CCE program are local control over rates and incentives, local control over energy sources and local economic benefits. A CCE program establishes rate structures and, through data exchange with the local investor owner utility, such as PG & E and Liberty Energy, passes on the economic and environmental benefits of managing the energy portfolio to serve the energy load of the ratepayers. A CCE program can also provide rebates, performance based incentives and economic development incentive rate structures. Ratepayers will continue to receive a bill from PG & E or Liberty Energy. CCE’s cannot be established in the service territory of a municipal utility such as Roseville Electric. 
 
Currently there are three CCA programs up and running in California and over twenty more are under consideration or in the development process. The programs currently in operation are the Marin Energy Authority, Sonoma Clean Power and the City of Lancaster’s Lancaster Choice Energy. It is expected that within the next five years, 60% of electricity in California will be covered by a CCA program. As such, Placer County is on the cutting edge in exploring a CCE now and not waiting until later. 
 
In addition to the local control and economic benefits of establishing a CCA, there are also environmental benefits. A Placer County CCA would be designed to meet or exceed all mandated renewable and non-carbon energy portfolio standards and contribute to the county’s AB 32 requirements related to managing greenhouse gas emissions over time. The program could also prove to be a useful tool in helping to make communities in Placer County more economically robust. 
 
It is exciting and heartening to see that county is taking steps to implement new and innovative programs such as Community Choice Energy. Programs like these can be the catalyst for other exciting ventures within the county that will ultimately benefit everyone. I look forward to hearing back from our Treasurer as we move forward with this process. 
 
As always, it is an honor and a privilege to serve you. I always welcome your feedback and can be reached by e-mail at jduran@placer.ca.gov or by phone at 916-787-8950. 
Top