Community Choice Energy – The future of energy transmission


Launch of a community choice energy program

Earlier this year the Santa Clara Board of supervisors and the city councils of 11 cities including Cupertino and established the Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE)

Over the next year the SVCE will launch a community choice energy (CCE) program which will provide residents and businesses with a new choice other at the traditional method of receiving power from the utility. Also referred to as Community Choice Aggregation (CCA).

The function of a community choice program

A community choice energy functions as an electricity provider which is totally owned and operated locally. The agency buys power instead of the utility on the open market resulting in more renewable energy as a result of increased competition. The CCE will pool demand within their communities and purchase clean energy on the behalf of the residents and businesses. Under CCE the utility, in this case, PG&E would continue to deliver the electricity over the existing infrastructure.

The Goal

The goal is to help local cities meet their local climate action goals by reducing greenhouse gases emissions from electricity generation. All business and residents would be automatically enrolled with SVCE when the program launches and could select to opt out in the event they want to stay with PGE.

These are gaining popularity throughout the country since they provide communities more choice to increase the amount of electricity produced from Renewable resources.

This has been put in place in Marin county providing thousands of customers with cleaner energy at lower rates than the commercial utility.

The prognosis and my action item

As far as I am concerned this will be the future. Programs like these will be required in order to meet the aggressive renewable energy targets set for 2030 and beyond which is why these will become commonplace. The method is which electricity is transmitted will never be the same. Closer to my home, I live in Alameda County which does not provide a CCE options for its residents in place at the present time. Time to go find out why.