COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY: THE BASICS
Let's start with the basics of Community Choice Energy
The City of Buena Park is considering a Community Choice Energy plan to provide residents and businesses with a choice of higher renewable green energy at competitive rates. Community Choice Energy is more local control over how the community's power is generated.
Best part is: the choice is yours.
Register for the Virtual Town Hall to learn more, ask questions, and provide feedback.
Know the basics before you tune in:
What is Community Choice Energy?
Community Choice Energy allows California cities and counties to purchase electricity for their community from traditional or green/sustainable power sources. The CCE's purchasing power introduces competition into the market where there is none now. It is important to note that the CCE is limited to purchasing the power, Southern California Edison would remain for the transmission and distribution of the power, metering and billing.
What would be the options for customers under Community Choice Energy?
Customers will have a choice of energy supply options:
1. LEAN POWER - provides 36% of the energy from green/sustainable sources pretty near or about 1% savings from your current rate.
2. CLEAN POWER - provides 50% of the energy from green/sustainable sources for a slight increase on your electricity bill.
3. GREEN POWER - provides 100% of the energy from green/sustainable sources for a moderate increase on your electricity bill.
4. Remain with Southern California Edison.
Customers can upgrade to more green energy, downgrade for less green energy, or opt-out and return to service with SCE at any time.
How can CCEs offer lower rates than the existing utilities?
CCEs have less overhead and can acquire low-cost government debt financing. Also, because the Orange County Power Authority is a local government agency it does not need to make profits for shareholders like current utility companies.
What are a few benefits?
- It offers choice for an essential service which now has no options
- The Orange County Power Authority is likely to be the 4th largest in the state of California, which will give it the ability to purchase green/renewable energy at even greater reduced rates (similar to buying in bulk)
- One of the most significant benefits is available after the initial loans are recouped by founding City of Irvine, which is expected within 5-7 years of beginning operation. At that point, revenues become available locally to directly impact energy programs in member cities (Buena Park, Fullerton, Irvine). Therefore, revenues from customers go back to our communities rather than to stockholders of utility companies.
What is Buena Park's fiscal impact to join the Orange County Power Authority?
There is no direct fiscal impact to join. Founding member agencies like Buena Park are not required to make any financial contributions. Instead, the City of Irvine has agreed to finance all initial start-up costs which include:
- OCPA agency start-up costs of about ~$2.5 M.
- During the first 5-7 years of operation, OCPA will repay Irvine's investments and build up proper financial reserves.
Are there any other areas in California that already have a CCE?
There are 23 CCE programs serving more than 10 million customers in California. In addition, other states such as Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and New York have developed their own community choice energy programs.
Join us at 6pm on March 2 for a Virtual Community Choice Energy Town Hall to learn more, ask questions and provide feedback!
You can also send questions beforehand to firstname.lastname@example.org.