Local Power Control

A multi-jurisdictional public energy agency that includes the county advanced a power buying program whose implementation in unincorporated areas was approved by the Board of Supervisors last spring. The action authorized the county’s participation in the new program, which is slated to begin providing power in spring 2017.

Known as Community Choice Aggregation, the program is aligned with state law that allows communities to purchase power – including locally-produced power – for use by their residents.

The Redwood Coast Energy Authority – a joint powers authority that includes county and city governments – will be the lead agency in a power-buying program that will charge rates at or below PG&E’s while drawing from a variety of power sources, including locally-produced renewable energy.

The county’s 60,000 power customers in total are estimated to save $2 million a year for the first five years of the program, which amounts to a savings of about $20 a year on the average power bill.

The program will draw from conventional natural gas sources, but if customers are willing to pay higher rates, they’ll be able to purchase up to 100 percent of their power from renewable sources.

When the program begins operation, customers will be automatically switched to it unless they choose to opt out of it.

2016: Humboldt County News in Review, by Daniel Mintz, Mad River Union, January 3, 2017.

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