Residents Have a New Choice for Renewable Energy in LA and Ventura Counties
No one enjoys receiving bills. Especially if that bill is an energy bill in Southern California where it’s summer virtually year-round. While energy bills are an inevitable fact of life, some Southern California residents may be able to feel a little better about receiving their bill thanks to the Clean Power Alliance.
The Clean Power Alliance, formerly known as the Los Angeles Community Choice Energy Authority, is a locally operated, community-choice electricity provider that purchases clean and renewable electricity for sale to their communities at a lower or competitive cost than investor-owned utility Southern California Edison (SCE). While one now has the option to choose one’s energy provider, SCE will continue to be responsible for the transmission, distribution, maintenance of infrastructure, customer services, billing and other services they have always provided with no additional effort on part of the consumer. The idea of the program is to empower customers by offering them a choice for their source of energy. CPA does so by offering three rate options each with a different percentage of renewable energy: 36%, 50%, or a 100% of renewable content. Each CPA city or county member has chosen a default option for their community, but now customers can make their own energy choice and change their rate option or opt out entirely. Ventura County and several cities including Santa Monica, Culver City, and West Hollywood have selected a renewable energy default of 100%. The overall benefits of this decision result in cleaner air which leads to better health.
The state of California is committed to using 100% renewable energy by 2045 (SB100, 2002) and Steve Zuckerman, a Rolling Hills Estates Council Member and Clean Power Alliance board member affirms that the “differences in the default can improve clean energy participation from including hardly anyone to including almost everyone”. This would enable California to reach its goal years ahead of schedule and would allow low-income people who can’t buy an EV or retrofit their homes with solar panels to make a difference and participate in the fight against global climate change. Residents in participating communities can encourage the LA County Board of Supervisors to support 100% clean, renewable energy by default during their October 30 meeting agenda.
CPA’s energy comes from largely non-polluting, clean and renewable sources like solar, wind, and hydroelectric power but never coal or nuclear power. CPA currently contracts with private firms to obtain renewable energy but states they plan to obtain renewable energy from locally-generated power, thus developing the economy and providing new jobs in the communities.
The Clean Power Alliance is currently made up of 31 member jurisdictions in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties (a full list can be found here: https://cleanpoweralliance.org/customer-support/faqs/). Its services are to be implemented in three phases with the first phase of powering municipal buildings in Los Angeles County having started in February 2018. Services for commercial and industrial customers of CPA’s members in L.A. and Ventura County began in June 2018 and service to residential customers are scheduled to start in early 2019. Soon, residents in communities participating in the CPA can feel a bit better about receiving their energy bill knowing they are stewards of the environment.
To learn more about renewable energy goals and to get involved locally, check in with the Angeles Chapter Clean Break Committee.