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City to Hold Study Session on Community Choice Energy

Post Date:12/08/2017 9:30 AM

The San Luis Obispo City Council will hold a study session on Tuesday, Dec. 12 to consider whether the City should pursue a Community Choice Energy (CCE) program that could enable investments in new, renewable energy projects to reduce Green House Gas emissions.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend the session, which is the next step in a process that began in 2015 when the City committed to exploring CCE. The session will begin at 4 p.m. at City Hall (990 Palm Street), ahead of the regularly scheduled Council Meeting at 6 p.m.

CCE is a new way for Californians to buy energy that is administered through cities and counties. The program allows local governments to leverage the purchasing power of their residents, businesses, and governments to buy or generate power for their communities. CCE providers buy electricity, which usually will include a higher percentage of electricity from renewable resources such as wind and solar, and set customers’ rates.

If the City joined or created a CCE program, customers would not experience a difference in their everyday service. PG&E would continue to provide the service through its power lines and would provide metering, billing and other customer service as it does now, but the electricity would be purchased through the CCE program.

City staff is proposing three options for moving forward, which council members will discuss at the meeting.

  • Form a new CCE program
  • Join an existing CCE program
  • Discontinue/pause pursuit of a CCE program

The City has been involved in two CCE studies since 2015. The Tri-County study looked at the feasibility of forming a new CCE program in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The study concluded that a new regional CCE program that crossed PG&E and Southern California Edison territories would not meet the feasibility criteria established by the study.

The second study looked at an intra-county CCE, including a City-only CCE, and a City-County CCE, and it found that these programs would be feasible, though additional study would be necessary if the City Council decided to move in this direction.

The City Council allocated $25,000 in its 2017-2019 Financial Plan for a more in-depth analysis. Depending on the direction provided by the City Council Tuesday night, that funding may be used to bring the City closer to joining an existing, or establishing a new, local program to procure clean energy and support Green House Gas reduction projects in our community. 

View the complete staff report here.                                                                                                                                                                                              

CONTACT: Greg Hermann, Acting Assistant City Manager, (805)781-7194, ghermann@slocity.org

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