The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors has joined a growing list of Central Coast governments opting to provide clean, locally managed power to residents and businesses across Monterey Bay.
Tuesday’s unanimous vote means Santa Cruz County will join Monterey Bay Community Power, a new Community Choice Energy entity allowing Monterey Bay governments, acting on behalf of residents, to purchase and deliver clean, renewable energy over existing transmission lines at prices competitive with larger utilities. Four other local governments have officially joined the effort, four more have taken initial votes to do so and votes in several more jurisdictions are imminent.
“Establishing a locally owned power agency is the single most significant step we can take to protect our precious environment,” said Supervisor Bruce McPherson, whose office has led the regional formation effort. “The added benefits of protecting ratepayers while providing local jobs makes Monterey Bay Community Power an easy win for the community.”
“This is a significant step forward in our efforts to fight climate change,” Board Chair John Leopold said. “Monterey Bay Community Power allows us to reinvest local dollars in a manner that benefits the region, while giving us local control over our energy future.”
The formation of Monterey Bay Community Power follows approximately 100 community meetings and presentations, with 19 local governments having taken formal action signaling their interest in joining. MBCP aims to provide consumer choice, increase renewable energy and stimulate the regional economy by reinvesting consumer energy spending locally.
At Tuesday’s meeting, several supporters spoke out on behalf of Monterey Bay Community Power, including Sierra Club and Monterey Bay Central Labor Council. Communities in San Francisco, San Mateo County, Marin County, Sonoma County and Lancaster have all voted to reduce their carbon footprints by establishing Community Choice Energy entities, all now offering clean energy to local customers.
Monterey Bay Community Power plans to begin delivering clean, renewable energy by Spring 2018.
Santa Cruz County Board of Sups Vote to Join Monterey Bay Community Power, by Sara Isenberg, The Santa Cruz Tech Beat, March 2, 2017.