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Santa Barbara County Approves Community Choice Energy

This article appeared in Edhat Santa Barbara on August 7, 2019.

Santa Barbara County and local city officials vote to pursue the formation of a City-run Community Choice Energy (CCE) entity.

CCE allows local control over where your electricity comes from and allows local government to develop innovative programs and policy related to local energy goals. It can also gain leverage to negotiate better rates with competitive suppliers and choose greener power sources.

Even with CCE, Southern California Edison will continue to deliver the electricity over their infrastructure.

On July 16, the County of Santa Barbara voted 4-1 to join Monterey Bay Community Power, and the City of Goleta directed staff to move forward in August. Additionally, on July 30, the Santa Barbara City Council voted to pursue the formation of CCE.

The program is endorsed by local nonprofit, the Community Environmental Council who sees this as “the single most effective program that could be launched to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

The move is expected to enable our region to access programs that reduce the cost of electric vehicles, develop renewable energy microgrids, build local solar projects, increase energy efficiency, and more – leading area residents and businesses to more rapidly adopt clean energy technologies.

Monterey Bay Community Power is expected to rebrand to reflect the Central Coast and the communities it will serve across five counties, from Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz.

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