The accelerating pace and growing number of Californians served by Community Choice

 By Ann Hancock and Woody Hastings, CCP  |  Feb. 24, 2016

The
The Climate Center keeps a close eye on Community Choice energy
developments in the State of California and updates a growing database of
cities and counties evaluating Community Choice. The compiled data demonstrates
the spread of Community Choice and shows that momentum is building across the
state, in terms of both speed and scale. Since 2013, spreading Community Choice
throughout the State has been a focus of The Climate Center.

Currently
the three existing Community Choice programs – Marin Clean Energy, Sonoma Clean
Power, and Lancaster Choice Energy – are serving communities with a total
population of about 1.1 million.

CleanPowerSF,
the next California Community Choice program that’s going live this May, will
serve San Francisco’s population of about 850,000. Peninsula Clean Energy,
comprised of San Mateo County and its twenty cities, will serve a population of
about 750,000 starting this August. Silicon Valley Clean Energy, comprised of
Santa Clara County and 11 of 13 eligible cities, will serve a population of
about 600,000 starting in late 2016. In sum, these three new programs will
serve populations of about 2.2 million, and thus will double the population that
can select Community Choice.

On
March 1 the San Jose City Council is scheduled to vote on whether to solicit
energy service providers for a Community Choice program. The San Jose Community
Choice program would serve a population of about 1 million. Napa County cities,
Contra Costa County and several of its cities have asked Marin Clean Energy if
they could join their program, which would extend service to an additional
428,000 people. Alameda County is also developing a Community Choice program
which could serve a population of about 1.5 million. This would bring the total
population of areas served by Community Choice in California to about 6.3
million, equal to about 16 percent of the total state population of 38.8
million. Moreover, there are approximately 40 more cities and counties
throughout California in varying stages of exploring Community Choice Energy.

Huge
financial impacts are at play with the emergence of Community Choice. For San
Jose alone, our conservative estimate is that customers now pay $350 to $400
million per year in electrical generation payments
to PG&E, an amount that would be put under local control with a Community
Choice Energy program.

[ Note: In addition to the communities listed in the graphic above, approximately 50 other California cities and counties are in varying stages of exploring Community Choice. Table compiled from data collected by The Climate Center.]

Ann Hancock is the Executive Director of The Climate Center. Woody Hastings is the Renewable Energy Implementation Manager.

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