Carpinteria’s City Council voted unanimously to move forward with joining a community choice aggregate (CCA) at its Aug. 26 meeting. The 4-0 vote (with Councilman Al Clark absent) directed staff to move forward in preparing a city contract to join the CCA of the Monterey Bay Community Power Authority (MBCP) with a budget appropriation of $7,500.
City staff were first directed to study the feasibility of joining a CCA in 2015. Erin Maker, the city’s environmental coordinator, explained to the council that CCAs offer consumers more local choices and promote economic development. Staff have also determined that joining MBCP provides “the least cost, lowest risk path forward.”
CCAs allow local governments to form a partnership to combine the amount of electricity used by their communities to both purchase energy and develop renewable energy projects. The partnership typically supplies a higher percentage of renewable or carbon-free electricity at competitive rates. The investor-owned utility, in this case Southern California Edison, handles the delivery of energy by maintaining transmission lines and the overall energy grid. Consumers can opt-out of the CCA use only SCE.
MBCP launched in early 2018, initially serving the counties of Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey, as well as 16 incorporated cities. MBCP currently serves 275,000 customers and will increase to about 305,000 in early 2020 with the enrollment of customers in the cities of Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo.
Speaking on behalf of the Community Environmental Council, Michael Chiacos stated, “We’ve studied community choice extensively … we urge Carpinteria to move forward… CCEs are now serving 10 million Californians … Carpinterians deserve the choice… of cleaner energy.”
City Council votes for clean energy: community choice aggregate approved, by Debra Herrick, Coastal View, August 28, 2019.