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Santa Barbara County Energy Choice is a coalition of individuals, businesses, and organizations—led by the Community Environmental Council—that is advocating for Community Choice Energy (CCE) in Santa Barbara County.

Santa Barbara County Energy Choice is NOT the official website for the tri-county Community Choice Energy effort. CentralCoastPower.org is the official site.

What is Community Choice Energy?

Community Choice Energy offers customers something they have never had before: Choice. CCE programs give customers a choice in energy providers and a choice in how their energy is produced. In a Community Choice Energy program, one or more cities or counties create a locally-controlled public agency that is responsible for purchasing or producing the electricity for local homes and businesses. Delivery of the electricity, maintenance of the transmission lines, and billing remains the responsibility of the existing utility (SCE or PG&E). CCE provides customers with options for cleaner energy at rates that are competitive or cheaper than the rates offered by existing utilities while generating a host of other local benefits.

OUR PROGRESS TO DATE

Thanks to a tremendous level of community support and engagement, including a decade of advocacy from Community Environmental Council and others, a large majority of cities and counties in our region are being served or will soon be served by Community Choice Energy programs. Most opted to join the established Clean Power Alliance orMonterey Bay Community Power programs, which has been running successfully for several years. The City of Santa Barbara voted to form their own Community Choice program.

The following areas are being served by Clean Power Alliance, as of 2019:

  • County of Ventura (chose 100% renewable energy default option)
  • City of Camarillo
  • City of Moorpark
  • City of Ojai (chose 100% renewable energy default option)
  • City of Oxnard (chose 100% renewable energy default option)
  • City of Simi Valley
  • City of Thousand Oaks (chose 100% renewable energy default option)
  • City of Ventura (chose 100% renewable energy default option)

The following areas will be served by Monterey Bay Community Power:

  • County of Santa Barbara (starts 2021)
  • City of Arroyo Grande (starts 2021)
  • City of Carpinteria (starts 2021)
  • City of Goleta (starts 2021)
  • City of Grover Beach (starts 2021)
  • City of Guadalupe (starts 2021)
  • City of Morro Bay (started in 2020)
  • City of Paso Robles (starts 2021)
  • City of Pismo Beach (starts 2021)
  • City of San Luis Obispo (started in 2020)
  • City of Santa Maria (starts 2021)
  • City of Solvang (starts 2021)

The City of Santa Barbara is starting its own Community Choice program.

News & Events

07Jan 20

Support for Strauss Wind Energy

This letter was published in the Santa Barbara Independent on January 7, 2020. Dear Santa Barbara County Planning Commissioners, We the undersigned support the Strauss Wind project and urge you…

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07Jan 20

Sea Center Goes Solar

This article was published at the Santa Barbara Independent January 7, 2020. Santa Barbara’s Sea Center has been fitted with a new 52-kilowatt solar electric system thanks to a Community…

read more

WHY COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY MATTERS

In our 2007 carbon-neutral plan A New Energy Direction: A Blueprint for Santa Barbara County, we identified Community Choice Energy (CCE) as the single most effective way our region could collectively move to renewable energy. Simply put, CCE is a new way to get cleaner electricity to local homes and businesses and provide greater local control over how that electricity is sourced.

  • Local governments create a new public agency responsible for purchasing and producing electricity.
  • The utility remains responsible for delivering that electricity, maintaining lines and handling billing.
  • Communities gain control over their power supply.

Existing programs in Marin, Sonoma, Lancaster, Monterey, and elsewhere show that Community Choice Energy provides a wide range of benefits:

Choice
CCE introduces competition into the marketplace and provides customers with a choice about the energy sources they wish to support

Community
CCE is typically run by a public agency, accountable to the community, not shareholders. Surplus funds may be reinvested locally in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and jobs.

Sustainability
CCE may help communities achieve their climate action goals by lowering energy-related greenhouse gas emissions through cleaner, renewable energy choices. Monterey Bay Community Power’s default offering is 100% carbon-free, and they also offer a 100% California solar and wind choice. Clean Power Alliance offers 100% renewable energy as a default option in many cities in Ventura County and other areas of its service territory.

Economics
CCE may provide customers renewable energy options at rates competitive with Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison. Monterey Bay Community Power was expected to generate $44 million in surplus revenue in 2019, which will is funding customer rebates, programs, and reserves.

Community Choice Energy at COP21 UN Climate Change Talks

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