The Town of Apple Valley held public information meetings last week about its new Choice Energy program, attracting large crowds of interested residents.
Though a few seem to see conspiracies and ulterior motives in just about anything the Town Council is involved in, for us this state-approved program seems like a win-win for residents and the town.
It’s not a big win-win, mind you, but it’s still a win.
When April 1 rolls around, the town will become the electricity provider for all its residents and businesses, unless they opt out. The good news for Apple Valley residents is that will result in a 3 percent savings on a portion of their monthly electric bill, the portion that applies to electricity generation. It’s not a 3 percent savings on your entire bill.
For most people, that 3 percent will only amount to a dollar or two every month. The higher your electricity use, the more you’ll save. For Apple Valley businesses that consume a lot of electricity, it will be more helpful. Because of that, this program should be an incentive for businesses thinking about relocating to consider Apple Valley.
But even if you only save a buck or two, it’s a buck or two better than you’ll do if you continue with Southern California Edison as your electricity provider. Just about everything seems to be going up these days, from gasoline to food, so we say take any savings you can get. Plus, if you have solar installed on your home, Apple Valley’s program will pay you double for your excess energy compared to what Edison does.
Though some are concerned about the $2.5 million loan the town is taking from its General Fund to pay for start up costs, we don’t see a big reason to worry. Town officials say the loan will be repaid with interest and the electricity they purchase will be paid for by residents who receive it. There’s not a big financial risk here.
Not a lot of people are familiar with the Community Choice Aggregation program that Apple Valley is becoming part of, but it has been around for several years and more and more cities and counties are joining. The prime reason many have decided to do so is not so much to try to save residents money but to be able to access more renewable energy. Californians has been the nation’s green energy leader, as we can see from all the rooftop solar in the High Desert and throughout the state.
Remember, the state has mandated utility companies to obtain 33 percent of all their energy from renewable sources by 2020 and that percentage rises to 50 by 2030. Apple Valley Choice Energy already has met the 2020 mandate with its five-year contract with Shell and the town feels confident it will meet the 2030 mandate too.
In fact, Apple Valley residents who feel strongly about reducing their carbon footprint can do so by paying $2 per month to ensure at least 50 percent of their electricity comes from renewable sources.
Our View: The Choice seems clear in Apple Valley, by Daily Press Editorial Board, Daily Press, March 11, 2017.