Center releases report on Community Choice and the economic impact of buying local renewable power

The Climate Center is pleased to present this report about potential local economic benefits from Community Choice Energy (CCE) in the San Joaquin Valley. It builds on our previous work in analyzing economic impacts of CCE in the City of San Jose in “Community Choice Energy: What is the Economic Impact? San Jose, California Case Study,” published in September 2016 and available for download at the Center’s website.

The purpose of this report is to provide information to city and county leaders in the Central Valley to assist in evaluating CCE for their constituents. The report supports Community Choice entities in realizing the vision to be game-changing innovation platforms, and to take strategic steps today to become increasingly competitive in the dynamic energy market of the future. To accomplish this, CCEs must perform differently than Investor Owned Utilities.

Commendably, California’s six operational CCEs currently provide electricity to their customers at overall lower rates with a higher mix of renewables and lower emissions than their competition. The many emerging CCEs aim to follow suit. By 2020, CCEs may serve as much as sixty percent of the eligible California service territory.

CCEs decide the mix of local and remote sources of electricity. What factors must CCEs consider when making the decision about their energy mix in addition to the cost of electricity? This study illustrates the value of developing local energy resources by quantifying the increasing economic benefits that result from expanding the procurement of power from local sources.

From a business-as-usual perspective, some of the scenarios we examine may seem aggressive, but energy market policies and system structures are all changing in California, and we believe Community Choice can help accelerate and take advantage of those changes. What seems challenging today will be much easier in just a few years.

This report focuses on solar photovoltaics because of this technology’s proven track record for scalability, the beneficial experience that California CCEs have demonstrated with solar, and the existence of a tested model for estimating the local economic impact of solar deployment. Geographically, this study focuses on the San Joaquin Valley due to its socioeconomic challenges, status as an area that is disproportionately impacted by poor air quality and other pollution hazards, size, and importance to the statewide economy.

This report provides input to a rich conversation about Community Choice Energy and we encourage further discussion based on a solid economic analysis of potential impact.

Download the report (pdf)

The Climate Center receives Logan Foundation support to spread Community Choice in California’s Central Valley

By Woody Hastings, CCP  |  December 29, 2015


The Climate Center
is proud to announce that the Reva and David Logan Foundation awarded it a
grant for 2016 to spread Community Choice energy programs in California. The
Logan-funded project will focus on five yet-to-be-selected Central Valley communities
in California, communities that are severely impacted by economic challenges
and pollution. The project marries two critical issues, climate protection and social

R. Alden Feldon, a Board director of the Reva and David Logan Foundation, stated that, “We are very excited about the Clean Power Exchange as it fulfills one of our board’s primary interests, supporting community organizing and programs that promote social justice. We look forward to seeing results that will help California communities achieve clean energy solutions in another step toward helping us all realize a sustainable future.”

The Center will focus its 2016
Logan-funded project on outreach and education to build awareness about the
economic and environmental benefits of Community Choice energy. Community
Choice significantly reduces emissions and democratizes energy in a unique way
by giving customers a choice and voice in their electricity service. This
program also retains money in local communities, offers lower rates, spurs
innovation, and helps build the local green economy.

The Center introduced Community
Choice to Sonoma County in 2005, and built momentum for its establishment. Sonoma
Clean Power began serving customers in May 2014, and has already exceeded
expectations, as described in the Center’s recent Community Report.

Word about the success of
Community Choice is spreading. Currently more than 70 California communities
are in varying stages of exploring Community Choice, most of them located along
the coast.

“We are thrilled to have this
opportunity to work with the people and organizations in these communities who have
been addressing environmental problems, increasing the adoption of renewable
energy, and improving energy efficiency,” stated Ann Hancock, Executive
Director of the Center. “We’ve learned a lot about establishing Community
Choice over the past ten years, and are eager to share this with others.”

Woody Hastings is the Renewable Energy
Implementation Manager for The Climate Center. He can be reached

Mike Sandler to represent The Climate Center in Paris

by The Climate Center & Mike Sandler

The Climate Center and the Foundation for the
Economics of Sustainability (based in the UK and Ireland) are co-sponsoring a
side event at the international climate change conference in Paris hosted by
the United Nations known as COP-21.

The side event will introduce CapGlobalCarbon (, a citizen’s
movement calling for the creation of a Global Climate Trust to set a limit on
global carbon pollution, auction permits to upstream fossil fuel companies, and
return all the revenues back to people on an equitable basis.  This would be an international version of the
Cap & Dividend model.

“The global community must address climate change while we
still can.  It is clear we must leave
two-thirds of fossil fuels in the ground,” said Mike Sandler, co-founder of the
The Climate Center and a steering committee member of
CapGlobalCarbon. “We can either ban it [fossil fuel extraction] or introduce an
escalating carbon price that helps business and communities plan for the
transition,” he said.

“Countries will not suddenly agree to this without a citizen
movement demanding it. That is why we are going to Paris, and why we invite
interested stakeholders and the media to attend our side event,“ said


Details on the CapGlobalCarbon
event in Paris:

What: “Climate Justice: Coal and Human Rights in the
South, Community Choice Energy, Global Carbon Pricing”

Affected communities are often forgotten in high-level talks
on climate action. We highlight human rights impacts by the coal sector in the
South, Community Choice Energy to speed a transition to renewables, and
establish a Global Climate Trust to “CapGlobalCarbon” and return funds to

Speakers: Mike Sandler (Carbon Share, USA); Shawn Marshall
(LEAN Energy, US); Krizna Gomez (Dejusticia, Colombia); Dawn Weisz (Marin Clean
Energy, USA); Gregory Regaignon (Business and Human Rights Resource Centre,
USA); Erik-Jan van Oosten, (FEASTA, Netherlands); Caroline Whyte (FEASTA,
France); additional speakers TBA.

When: Saturday, December 5, 2015. 15:00—16:30

Where: Le Bourget “Blue Zone” Observer Room 08          

Contact: Mike Sandler +1 707 529-4620  

Co-sponsors include DeJusticia, (based in Bogota, Colombia)
and Lean Energy US (based in California).


More about

  • It is based on the idea that the atmosphere is a
    global commons
  • Ensures that the necessary reductions in total
    global carbon emissions are achieved
  • Addresses climate and global poverty together
  • It is a citizen-led initiative, which is needed
    to prod governments to take the climate threat seriously
  • It is a backup to, and does not conflict with,
    the UNFCCC

 Links for further

CapGlobalCarbon’s website:

Two articles by Mike Sandler on HuffPost, explaining the
idea: “For Paris 2015: A Climate Trust Not a Treaty”

“The Paris Agenda: Leave Fossil Fuels in the Ground, Auction
Permits, Protect People”

The Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability website:  

The Climate Center’s Price on Carbon webpage:

The Center is Growing

The Climate Center recently brought on two new
employees, one new Board of Director, and is benefiting from a surge of
productivity from four summer interns.


In May, Niki Woodard
joined the Center as its Communications & Marketing Director. For the past four years, Niki has been running her own
business, Spiral PR & Communications. Previously, she worked as the
Communications Director for a land trust in the San Joaquin Valley and a
researcher/writer for the Pew Research Center in Washington, DC.

In June, Tim Holmes, a professional engineer, joined the Center for
Climate Protection as a new board member. Tim previously served on
the board of Solar Sonoma County, which just merged with the
Center. Tim is the President of Kenwood Energy, an energy management
consulting business, and has more than 30 years of experience in energy
efficiency, distributed generation, greenhouse gas management, and project
development and implementation.

In July, Geoffrey Smith
joined the Center to coordinate its new solar program, an extension of Solar
Sonoma County, which has now merged with the Center. Geoffrey was an
applications software engineer before shifting his professional aspirations to
the non-profit sector, serving leadership roles at two San Diego area land
trusts, coordinating conservation programs for the Sierra Club, and working as
a water conservation policy advocate. Geoffrey is a biking advocate and owns

This summer, the Center is benefiting from the skills of four bright and motivated interns:

: Andrea
is a junior at Oberlin College double majoring in Mathematics and Creative
Writing. At Oberlin, she works for the Resource Conservation Team, a group dedicated
to improving on-campus sustainability. At the Center, Andrea is working on
video content, social media, website updates, and press relations. This is
her second summer interning for the Center.

: Meghan
is a senior year at Western Washington University, where she’s double-majoring
in Environmental Economics and French with a minor in Energy Policy. At the
Center, Meghan is working on projects related to carbon cap and dividend,
including gathering support for the Healthy Climate and Family Security Act,
currently in the House. She is also researching California’s current cap and
dividend system to explore the ramifications of an “invisible

: Noah is a senior
year at Sonoma State University. His major is Environmental Studies &
Planning. At the Center, he helps out in the Renewable Energy program, conducting research on a
variety of topics involving energy efficiency/renewable energies, including the
increasing interest for Community Choice Energy programs, and the development
of those programs across the state. 

: Milo attends Occidental College and will
be entering his sophomore year. Currently, he is undeclared. At Occidental, he is active in the ACLU club. At the Center, he is researching the Theory of Change and working on the Cap
and Dividend program. 

Special joint presentation of the Climate Protection Campaign and Pepperwood Preserve

Climate change, birds and the role of conservation in securing our future

Ellie M. Cohen, CEO and President, PRBO Conservation Science

Friday, June 3, 7:00pm (Facility opens at 6 pm for building tours and exhibit viewing.)

Dwight Center, 2130 Pepperwood Preserve Road, Santa Rosa, (707) 591-9310

Please join us at Pepperwood to hear Ellie Cohen present the latest in global climate change science plus recent findings regarding regional bird and ecosystem impacts. Cohen will share novel approaches to managing natural resources on land and at sea in the face of accelerating climate, ocean, and land use change. She will recommend what we can do to make a difference.