Public to Get First Look at Community Choice Energy Proposal

A public information session has been scheduled for Woodland’s planned participation in a Community Choice Energy program.

The 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, meeting at the Woodland Community & Senior Center is designed to explain how Community Choice Energy works, why local governments are forming their own CCE’s, and how residents and businesses will be affected.

Members of the city’s Community Choice Energy Advisory Committee are inviting all interested residents to this informational meeting and hear about the options being considered by the city as a means of not only reducing power bills but also the dependence on Pacific Gas & Electric.

It was only this past Tuesday that Committee Chairman Tom Flynn, briefed the City Council on the progress made toward having the city link up with Yolo County and the city of Davis as part of their Valley Clean Energy Alliance program.

In his briefing, Flynn said the concept behind “community choice energy” is basically that local groups buy and supply power independently of PG&E, and then PG&E delivers that power to customers.

This permits the local group to negotiate for so-called “cleaner” energy, which in turn can reduce the carbon footprint of a community. As well, any profits made through the purchase and sale of the energy stays in the community. It’s been estimated that Woodland residents could see a drop in their power rates ranging from 4 to 8 percent under a Community Choice Energy system.

PG&E, meanwhile, partners with a CCE to operate and maintain the distribution and transmission system, read meters, bill the customers, and provide outage response.

“The aims of CCEs are to increase local decision-making in energy supply and programs while providing electricity with a high percentage of renewable energy content at electric rates that are competitive with those of the utility,” according to city officials.

At the public meeting, members of the City Council-appointed CCE Advisory Committee will provide an overview of CCEs and discuss the committee’s ongoing efforts to evaluate the pros and cons of joining Valley Clean Energy Alliance.

Following the presentation, committee members, city staff, and City Council members will be available for informal question and answer session. Attendees are encouraged to bring questions and ideas to help ensure that the committee is considering all issues of relevance to the community before presenting its report and recommendation to the council on April 18.

Concerning Valley Clean Energy Alliance, Flynn told the council the group is planning a 2018 launch and has welcomed Woodland’s inclusion. Woodland has until April 18 to get its report ready so a final decision can be made by the end of June. Woodland would need to submit a final implementation plan by August to link up with the Energy Alliance.

At present, Flynn said the choices narrow to three:

•Retain the status quo with no change in how Woodlanders receive their power.

•Join the Valley Energy Alliance and be included in its February 2018 launch.

•Join the Valley Energy Alliance after its February 2018 launch.

The city created the ad hoc advisory committee in November 2016. Among its 14 members are Woodland Mayor Angel Barajas and Councilman Tom Stallard.

Public to Get First Look at Community Choice Energy Proposal, by Jim Smith, Woodland Daily Democrat, March 23, 2017.

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