Central Coast Community Energy to Serve South Coast This October

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Central Coast Community Energy to Serve South Coast This October
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Source: Central Coast Community Energy

Ushered in by 31 other communities throughout the Central Coast, agriculture, business and residential customers in Carpinteria, Goleta and Unincorporated Southern Santa Barbra County will begin receiving service from Central Coast Community Energy (CCCE) in October 2021. All enrolling electricity customers will receive four mailed notifications with details about enrollment and what CCCE means for the newest communities and customers the public agency will begin serving.

Mailed notifications go out in August, September, November, and December and CCCE staff is also engaged in community outreach including virtual webinars in English and Spanish to keep households and businesses informed about the transition. Across the CCCE service area, PG&E and SCE continue their traditional roles delivering electricity and sending one monthly bill that includes CCCE charges, but CCCE is now in charge of how and where this electricity is generated. The net result is new, local economic and environmental benefits for customers.

“With service for customers in Carpinteria, Goleta and southern Santa Barbara County beginning in October Central Coast Community Energy will bring choice and more opportunities for customers,” shared Das Williams, Santa Barbara County Supervisor and CCCE Policy Board Vice Chair. “As an agency, CCCE is moving the needle on reducing emissions and creating new renewable energy resources that benefit not just the whole state but our planet while maintaining affordability for its Central Coast customers.”

As a community-owned electricity provider, CCCE’s focus on clean energy and local control is already providing approximately 350,000 Central Coast customers access to competitively priced electricity, incentives and rebates from innovative local energy programs such as funding for electric vehicles (EV) and EV charging stations, zero-emissions electric school buses, electric agricultural equipment and more. As a public agency, CCCE also provides regular opportunities to participate in public meetings and workshops that steer the course of future CCCE community reinvestments. To date since launching in 2018, those investments total $49.5 million in community reinvestment including a 50% rate reduction totaling $22 million for May and June 2020 in response to COVID. CCCE also funds energy programs, with $12 million available for fiscal year 21-22.

“After years of community support and study, we are pleased that Goleta is moving forward with this “community choice” energy model.  Joining CCCE will help further Goleta’s goal of providing fossil-free electricity. The City of Goleta is excited by what is offered by this new energy option: competitive rates, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and a greater offering of programs to invest in our community.” Shares Kyle Richards, Goleta City Councilmember and CCCE Policy Board Member for the City of Goleta (shared seat with Carpinteria).

For all participating communities, CCCE service represents a first-ever choice and alternative to receiving electricity service solely from investor-owned utilities (IOUs) such as PG&E or SCE. Following the same structure as 23 other community choice energy agencies serving more than 11 million customers throughout California, CCCE works in partnership with the IOUs. In their respective service areas, PG&E or SCE continue delivering electricity, maintaining infrastructure, and sending one monthly bill that includes CCCE electric generation charges; these electric generation charges were previously charged by IOUs as part of their bundled service costs. IOUs will continue charging for transmission and delivery. Customers also continue to have uninterrupted access to financial assistance programs including CARE, FERA, Medical Baseline, AMP and California’s Climate Credits.

“Joining Central Coast Community Energy allows our community to receive the benefits of choice, local control, competitive rates and ways to further reduce local greenhouse gas emissions.” Stated Katie Davis, CCCE Community Advisory Council Member. “I’m proud to be representing the County of Santa Barbara and witnessing the innovative solutions CCCE is capable of providing to the communities it serves.”

Both the economic and environmental benefits that CCCE provides are anchored in a commitment to not just sourcing clean and renewable electricity but growing these resources in ways that contribute to grid stability and support customers and communities with the transition from fossil fuel sources to clean energy solutions, accelerating progress towards California’s ambitious climate goals.  As California’s largest community choice energy agency by geography, CCCE has already energized significant economic and environmental progress in Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Cruz counties.

“Our expansion to serve 3 new communities in Santa Barbara County marks an important transition in CCCE’s development as a community choice energy agency,” shares CCCE CEO, Tom Habashi. “Our southward expansion led to a name change, a larger board and most importantly a new direction and a real commitment to renewable energy. By October of this year, CCCE will be serving four counties and 29 cities along the California Central Coast.”

CCCE has committed to reaching 60% clean and renewable energy by 2025 and 100% clean and renewable energy by 2030, 15 years ahead of California’s SB100 goals of 100% zero-carbon energy by 2045. CCCE has already contracted for $1.1 billion in long-term renewable energy contracts and has requested offers for long-duration storage for renewable energy, increasing the reliability of renewable resources in California.

Enrolling residents and businesses may attend free online webinars and virtual office hours to learn more. https://3cenergy.org/2021-enrollment/. Community members may sign up for the CCCE monthly newsletter here. 

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krichards Aug 03, 2021 04:34 PM
Central Coast Community Energy to Serve South Coast This October

Switching to Central Coast Community Energy (3CE) does not add a "middleman." The switch to 3CE means that they will be responsible for procuring the electricity, instead of Southern California Edison (SCE), which is an "investor-owned utility" (IOU). As an investor-owned company, Edison's primary goal is to make a profit. 3CE is a local, community-owned utility. Instead of profits, there will be net-revenues which will be put back into the community in the form of lower rates and funding for programs (like solar incentives, Electric Vehicle charging stations, etc.).

a-1628048508 Aug 03, 2021 08:41 PM
Central Coast Community Energy to Serve South Coast This October

KRRichards. So none of the people working for CCCE will make a salary? They will all make many of hundreds of thousands each. The state cannot provide right now more than 10 % of or energy from solar, but they want to go 10 percent in without a backup?

a-1628085097 Aug 04, 2021 06:51 AM
Central Coast Community Energy to Serve South Coast This October

CCCE is a non-profit so the staff makes reasonable salaries but they don't have to pay high CEO/executive compensation and pay shareholders like SCE as an investor owned utilities do. This savings they reinvest in the community. If you opt out you will pay more for your electricity, get dirtier electricity, and not be able to access programs like rebates for $2,000 for an electric vehicle. What's not to like, unless you are a curmudgeon and hate anything new?

citizenSB Aug 04, 2021 12:41 PM
Central Coast Community Energy to Serve South Coast This October

Tom Habashi, CEO of CCCE -- Mr. Habashi has lifelong experience in running municipal utilities -- so now we have two CEO's one of SCE and one of CCCE --
Not to mention 2 of everything else from billing to collections.

bumblebee Aug 04, 2021 03:00 PM
Central Coast Community Energy to Serve South Coast This October

KRichards: PG&E and SCE will still be buying electricity. So will 3CE. That increases the number for bidders for electricity which will cause the cost of electricity to rise.
3CU's primary goal is also to make a profit (net revenues). 3CU, like PG&E and SCE, maybe "community owned" but it not customer owned. Thus the unwillingness of 3CU to return excess revenues to the customer. Instead, 3CU pays its staff to develop elaborate schemes to distribute those profits.
And then there is the pesky question of who will be holding the bag if 3CU ends up operating at a loss (negative net revenue).

a-1628114443 Aug 04, 2021 03:00 PM
Central Coast Community Energy to Serve South Coast This October

@6:51 I suggest you read all of the information on the SB County website regarding this new CCE (previously Monterey Bay Community Power). Rates will go up. This whole program is not about green energy it’s about money. SCE & PG &E have green energy programs that are already in place. The percentage of electricity procured by this CCE from green sources is virtually the same as SCE for the next three years. Even after there is no guarantee of renewable energy sources. Do you really think Im going to have dirty energy at my opt out house but my neighbor will have clean energy next door through the same transmission lines?

citizenSB Aug 03, 2021 09:01 PM
Central Coast Community Energy to Serve South Coast This October

The City of Santa Barbara's primary goal on selling electricity is also to make a profit but they claim the money will be put to good use .
I talked to a relative that lives in Monterey where the Community Energy happened over a year ago. The first 2 months the bill was similar to before $80-$100 a month. The 3rd month it was 2x of normal, which he thought was a big mistake. He called as was told they needed new equipment and the bill was right. He opt'ed out and went back to PG&E.
No thanks -- I will opt out immediately and stick with SCE, the devil I know. SCE is also moving to solar and wind energy. https://www.sce.com/about-us/environment/renewable-power
Nice to have a choice, but I really do not trust the City of Santa Barbara as they have proven time and time again they can not run an efficient organization.

a-1628051919 Aug 03, 2021 09:38 PM
Central Coast Community Energy to Serve South Coast This October

What this article doesn’t tell you is that anyone may opt out. In fact if enough people were to opt out they would not be able to proceed with this program at all. This is why there has been no community outreach. The county made the decision to enroll you in the program without informing anyone about what that program is. They tell us we will have local control and choice. This is false. We have 3 representatives on a 25 person board made up of counties and cities far north of here. And Das is one of those representatives.. A career politician who follows the money will be deciding for us. When the Board of Supervisors held hearings regarding this program, the feasibility studies were not impressive. A side by side comparison of existing utility service and CCE were virtually no different except the cost of the new provider would likely be higher. SCE already procures the same percentage of electricity from green sources. I am no fan of SCE. Mainly because of issues with their equipment starting fires and the continued threat of PSPS. Community Choice Energy will change none of that as SCE will still transmit power through their lines. I encourage everyone to learn about this new energy provider and make an informed decision. If you choose to opt out it is very easy to do. Contact: [email protected]

Curmudgeon Aug 04, 2021 08:08 AM
Central Coast Community Energy to Serve South Coast This October

Why? Because I shudder when a knock at the door comes with this, "We're from the government and we're here to help you."
An "early adopter" in some things, I won't be in this. I will wait and see how it all shakes out and then may choose to opt in at a later time if it proves beneficial and successful in its aims.

PitMix Aug 04, 2021 08:43 AM
Central Coast Community Energy to Serve South Coast This October

Yeah, stick with SCE, because that is how the climate got to where it is today. I don't know if it is really possible for us to save the planet with the number of people that currently exist, but the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

gnusman Aug 04, 2021 10:27 AM
Central Coast Community Energy to Serve South Coast This October

Some of these comments sound like anti-vaxxers ... "I'll wait until it shakes out" et al.
But I get it, it's something new.
I live in Ventura and we are part of Community Choice and we like it. There are three tiers you can choose from based on % of where the energy comes from. I opted for 100% renewable energy and my slightly increased costs are chump change. You really want to cut your electricity costs? If you own your own home, get solar, preferably with a battery.
Do the math, my electric bill was about $85 a month without solar, I pay $55 per month on the solar loan and my total electric bill is $75 per month, saving $10. But once the loan is paid off, my electric bill will be coffee and donut change.
Go to Community Environmental Council as they have low-cost solar energy, or go through the Sierra Club in the tri-counties area here, nice low rates:
. http://www.swellenergy.com/SierraClub

citizenSB Aug 04, 2021 10:51 AM
Central Coast Community Energy to Serve South Coast This October

Easy to opt out! I just did it. https://3cenergy.org/opt-out-south/
Weird that it is illegal for companies to opt you in by default even a newsletter - but the city/county is allowed to opt you in for a paid service.
I wonder if SCE will do a campaign so we can hear the other side. It would be nice if more start ups would jump in -- competition is always good to drive down price and improve quality. However just providing the electricity does nothing to fix the transport problem which has caused so many fires-- wires need to be buried.

JB86 Aug 04, 2021 09:01 PM
Central Coast Community Energy to Serve South Coast This October

I love the assertion of funds being 'put back into the community.' For whose benefit? Is it going to be like gas taxes paying for subsidized mass transit, or building bike lanes? My bet is that rates will continue to go up and rate-payers will just continue to fund things that don't benefit them, but rather special, favored interests.

a-1628139441 Aug 04, 2021 09:57 PM
Central Coast Community Energy to Serve South Coast This October

I've had solar power for a couple of years now. Yes, I am billed by SCE as a provider of infrastructure. I get a rebate from them. My bill is much lower than it used to be.
Even if it wasn't, I wanted to be part of the change to green energy.

Hey, we're pretty hell-bent, literally. I believe past the point of no return. But it doesn't hurt to do what we can, right?

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