Monterey Bay Community Power Expands to Local Communities
Santa Barbara County Supervisors Joan Hartmann and Das Williams
Source: Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP)
MBCP announced [Friday] that its Policy Board has unanimously approved the agency’s continued expansion, adding the Cities of Arroyo Grande, Carpinteria, Del Rey Oaks, Goleta, Guadalupe, Grover Beach, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, Santa Maria, Solvang and the County of Santa Barbara to MBCP’s 21 existing member jurisdictions. MBCP will become the largest – geographically speaking – of all nineteen Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) more commonly referred to as, “Community Choice Energy” agencies, operating in California. Collectively, CCEs now serve more than 10 million customers in the State.
“The remarkable growth of MBCP and community choice energy along the Central Coast affirms our region’s long-standing commitments to environmental stewardship and economic stimulation,” shares MBCP CEO, Tom Habashi. “Unifying the Central Coast in these terms not only benefits our own region, it supports the growth of California’s CCE community and the potential to influence important energy-policy decisions being made in Sacramento.”
Santa Cruz County Supervisor and MBCP Policy Board Chair, Bruce McPherson first spearheaded the formation of MBCP to serve Santa Cruz County. Soon after, McPherson brought Monterey and San Benito Counties in to be part of MBCP’s initial formation, as the first Tri-County CCE to launch in March 2018. Since then, the agency’s efforts to share CCE benefits with neighboring communities and grow CCE’s influence in California have combined with the desire to create economic stimulus and address climate action by many Central Coast communities, energizing remarkable growth of the relatively new public agency as the enduring southward momentum continues. “Expanding MBCP’s reach to serve more of the Central Coast is an incredible opportunity to scale up customer savings, local energy programs and the Central Coast’s political influence,” says McPherson.
MBCP will add over 130,000 customers to reach an estimated total customer base of over 430,000, spanning 8,000 square miles and supporting customers across two different Investor Owned Utility service territories. Through its carbon-neutral power mix, MBCP estimates reducing carbon emissions an extra 240,000 metric tons in 2021, equal to removing over 50,000 cars off the road for one year.
During this week’s momentous Policy Board Meeting, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams echoed this sentiment, “Joining MBCP is a critical step in the County’s commitment to energy resiliency and greenhouse gas reduction. We are excited to partner and leverage the necessary resources to support our constituents.”
The addition of these 11 member jurisdictions from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties generated five new seats on MBCP’s Policy Board, sworn in immediately following the expansion approval during the December 4th MBCP Policy Board Meeting. Customers within the newly approved jurisdictions are set to begin receiving electric generation service from MBCP in early 2021 which is when they also gain access to MBCP’s local energy programs that reduce local greenhouse gas emissions and help solve energy resiliency issues, transforming and helping to decarbonize the Central Coast. Last year, at the December 2018 Policy Board meeting, the Cities of San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay went through the same process, and they enroll with MBCP January 1, 2020.
Monterey Bay Community Power is a Community Choice Energy agency established by local communities to source carbon-free electricity for Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties and now portions of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. PG&E continues its traditional role delivering power, maintaining electric infrastructure and billing. As a locally controlled not-for-profit, MBCP is not taxpayer funded and supports regional economic vitality by providing cleaner energy at a lower cost, supporting low-income rate payers, and funding local energy programs. For more information, visit www.mbcp.org