California state policy now allows local governments to form public Community Choice Energy (CCE) agencies to pool electricity demand within their communities. The CCE agency then competitively purchases clean energy on behalf of residents and businesses. Under CCE, PG&E continues to provide essential services as a partner, delivering the electricity over existing infrastructure, maintaining the power lines, sending bills and providing customer service. The CCE agency will offer a ‘standard’ energy mix with more renewable energy and fewer GHG emissions than PG&E at or below PG&E prices or a 100% renewable energy mix for a small extra fee. Customers who decide to join CCE can choose which mix they want.
In California, CCE agencies in Marin County, Sonoma County, and the City of Lancaster are providing hundreds of thousands of customers with cleaner energy at lower rates than the commercial utility. The Marin County CCE has been in operation for 5 years. In that time, Marin Clean Energy (MCE) has invested over $500 million in in-state and local renewable projects totaling over 225 MWs of new clean power and resulting in 1800 construction and related vendor jobs.
CCE is an example of an integrated solution because political regulations allow the CCE to operate, they provide more green power, less pollution, and for less money which benefits consumers. In Marin a portion of the funds from energy sales is devoted to building more green power and helping the local economy.
by A.W. Strawa