‘Community Choice Energy’ is Just Two Months Away, Humboldt

RCEA is working to implement the community choice program with a team of consultants selected through an open, competitive solicitation. The consulting team brings needed expertise and experience from working with the successful CCEs already operating elsewhere in the state. RCEA staff have formed our own in-house CCE team and are building local program management capacity. Our eventual goal is to take over many of the responsibilities being led by our consulting team during program launch.</p>

Beginning May 1, Redwood Coast Energy Authority will be the default electricity provider for Humboldt County with the launch of its Community Choice Energy program. The program will provide lower electric rates, increased local control, and the same reliable utility service.

Community Choice Energy (also known as Community Choice Aggregation) is an alternative means of procuring electricity through local governments. Its goal is to offer electricity consumers a choice in their service, with the option to purchase cleaner electricity at competitive prices. The program is under local control, and revenues remain within the county.

Several such programs are operating successfully in Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties, and in the city of Lancaster in southern California. Mendocino County recently elected to join Sonoma County’s existing program.

Each Community Choice Energy program is designed by its local governing body, comprised of representatives from participating jurisdictions—in this case, the county of Humboldt and cities of Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna, Blue Lake, Trinidad, and Rio Dell. Ferndale has not elected to participate in the program at this time. Humboldt’s CCE program will support local renewable energy generation and the economic development associated with that, while customers will have greater control over their electricity options.

Because PG&E will be collaborating with RCEA to deliver electricity, maintain lines, manage billing and administer customer programs, energy supply will be as reliable as it’s always been. In fact, the transition to RCEA’s CCE program will be seamless; the only thing customers will notice might be a slight reduction in price.

Energy users will automatically receive service with higher renewable energy content and lower emissions than the electricity they’re currently buying. Those who wish to will be able to upgrade to 100% renewable energy for a small price premium.

“We’re excited to be bringing Community Choice to Humboldt County,” said Matthew Marshall, Executive Director of Redwood Coast Energy Authority. “The successes of other CCEs in California are impressive, offering citizens lower rates, local control, cleaner electricity, and the kind of reliability they expect. Now it’s Humboldt’s turn.” For more information, please contact the Redwood Coast Energy Authority at (800) 931-RCEA or info@redwoodenergy.org, or visit www.RedwoodEnergy.org.

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Established in 2003, the Redwood Coast Energy Authority is a local government joint powers agency whose members include the County of Humboldt; the Cities of Arcata, Blue Lake, Eureka, Ferndale, Fortuna, Rio Dell, and Trinidad; and the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District. The Energy Authority’s purpose is to develop and implement sustainable energy initiatives that reduce energy demand, increase energy efficiency, and advance the use of clean, efficient and renewable resources available in the region.

‘Community Choice Energy’ is Just Two Months Away, Humboldt, by Ryan Burns, Lost Coast Outpost, March 1, 2017.

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