Over Ten Years of Advocacy Pays Off
July 16 was a momentous day for Community Choice Energy locally. The County of Santa Barbara voted 4-1 to move forward with joining Monterey Bay Community Power, and the City of Goleta directed staff to move forward in August. At the County hearing, Supervisor Joan Hartmann called out CEC’s work as she seconded Supervisor Das Williams’ motion to join the Monterey organization, in a nod to CEC’s advocacy on this issue for over a decade.
CEC sees Community Choice as the single most effective program that could be launched to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will also 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.
A Strong Community Choice Provider
Monterey Bay Community Power will likely rebrand to reflect the Central Coast and the communities it will serve across five counties, from Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz. This program has strong financials and is already offering clean energy programs, while also spurring new development of significant solar and storage projects in California.
Other Local Community Choice Progress
The City of Carpinteria is also moving forward with Community Choice, and had an information session earlier this week with a vote to follow in August. Carpinteria will likely join the County and Goleta in moving forward with Monterey Bay Community Power.
The City of Santa Barbara is considering launching their own city-only Community Choice program. This option may entail a longer start-up process and more financial risk, but will enable the City to have the most local control and local programming. The City Council will have a work session on Community Choice on July 23, with a vote likely on July 30.
What You Can Do Now
- Send letters of thanks to the Board Supervisors for supporting Community Choice Energy. Find their emails here.
- Advocate for Community Choice in one of the upcoming meetings. Email CEC’s Director of Energy and Climate Programs Michael Chiacos at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he will update you as these meetings are scheduled.