Now available or soon to be available to eligible CalChoice Associate Members
CalChoice is proud to help its Associate Members research, implement and manage energy programs that benefit the communities they serve. For more information about the energy programs listed below, contact CalChoice Energy Programs Manager Kathy Wells at Kathy@CalChoice.Org.
Solar Energy and Storage
Disadvantaged Communities Green Tariff Program (DAC-GT)
The DAC-GT program enables income-qualified, residential customers in disadvantaged communities (DACs) who may be unable to install solar on their roof to benefit from utility scale clean energy and receive a 20% bill discount. The program is modeled after the Green Tariff portion of the existing Green Tariff/Shared Renewables Program and is available to customers who meet the income eligibility requirements for the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) and Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) programs.
*Disadvantaged Community (DAC): The customer’s service address must be located in a DAC, identified by the latest version of CalEnviroScreen as scoring among the top 25% of census tracts statewide, or census tracts scoring in the highest 5% of the CalEnviroScreen’s Pollution Burden, but that do not have an overall CalEnviroScreen score because of unreliable socioeconomic or health data. Currently, three CalChoice CCA’s have received DAC allocation and are eligible to participate: Lancaster Choice Energy, Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy, and San Jacinto Power.
Future requests for proposals related to this program will be available on CalChoice’s Requests for Proposals page.
Solar and Battery Program
The Solar and Battery Program is designed to help CalChoice associate members with the deployment of safe and affordable battery energy storage systems to their customers. The goal is to increase local resiliency and reliability, protect vulnerable customers and critical facilities, enhance CalChoice’s peak load management strategies, support CalChoice’s decarbonization strategies and support statewide efforts to improve overall grid health. CalChoice, in partnership with TerraVerde Energy, intends to offer innovative, valuable, and affordable energy storage programming options that offer significant incentives to priority market segments and enhanced resiliency and reliability to eligible customers, while also providing new opportunities for procurement cost savings and enhanced risk management capabilities through strategic load-shaping and active peak load management strategies.
Energy Efficiency / Smart Homes
Emporia Smart Home Device Pilot Program
CalChoice has partnered with Emporia, the Zero Net Energy Alliance, and Ecoshift Consulting to launch a Smart Device Pilot Program that helps participating CalChoice associate members with the deployment of smart devices, including load monitoring devices, smart plugs, and smart EV chargers. Through the program, participating CalChoice members can offer their customers free and discounted smart devices that provide real time customer data and can enable load shape and shift services. The pilot program will lay the foundation for future pay-for-performance energy conservation and demand response programs that can drive operational cost savings for CalChoice associate member and customer savings.
*Pilot Program Phase: Currently, there are two CalChoice CCA’s participating in a “pilot phase” of the program: Pomona Choice Energy and Lancaster Choice Energy. Once pilot is complete, CalChoice will consider offering the program to all member CCAs.
Southern California Regional Energy Network (SoCalREN) Regional Partnership/Energy Efficiency Programs
Through a wide range of services, SoCalREN—administered by the County of Los Angeles— helps promote energy efficiency and sustainability throughout Southern California. SolCalREN assists with the design and implementation of programs that help reduce energy use throughout the region.
Elect to Administer / Energy Efficiency Programs
Current challenges exist with the Energy Division (CPUC) budget allocation to “local” programming, which is what would provide CCAs funding to “Elect to Administer” (ETA) investor-owned utility (IOU) energy efficiency programming. Another challenge is the Energy Savings Calculation minimums that must be met when administering a program. Currently the thresholds are unattainable for small CCAs to reach (per LCE’s past experience and Frontier Energy Consultant analysis.) CalChoice team continues to monitor opportunities for new programs to meet the ETA program standards on behalf of all members CCAs.
Customer Billing / Financial Assistance Programs
Arrearage Management Plan (AMP)
The Arrearage Management Plan (AMP) Program is a debt forgiveness payment plan option for residential CARE and FERA customers who have past due bills totaling $500 or greater which are at least 90 days old. AMP is designed to help customers who have had difficulty bringing their account current and give them a fresh start by forgiving 1/12 of their past due balance each time an on-time payment is made. After twelve on-time payments, the debt will have been forgiven in full. Utility customer must apply to participate in the AMP Program by visiting www.sce.com/careandfera. In the Arrearage Management Plan section, customers can learn more about how AMP works and access the AMP application form to start the enrollment process.
California Arrearage Payment Program (CAPP)
The newly established California Arrearage Payment Program (CAPP) will offer financial assistance for California energy utility customers to help reduce past due energy bill balances accrued during the COVID-19 pandemic. Established by Governor Newsom and the California Legislature in the 2021-22 State Budget and administered by the Department of Community Services and Development (CSD), the CAPP program dedicates $1 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to address Californian’s energy debts.
Utility customers do not need to apply to receive assistance under the CAPP program. If a customer account is eligible, a credit will be automatically applied to the customer’s bill. Energy utilities will apply for CAPP assistance on behalf of customers who incurred a past due balance of 60 days or more on their energy bill during the COVID-19 pandemic relief period covering March 4, 2020 through June 15, 2021.
Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP)
PIPP pilot programs, which allow a participant to pay a predetermined affordable percentage of their monthly income toward their electricity or natural gas bill. Participants will receive a monthly bill cap for current charges set at four percent of their household’s monthly income. Monthly bill caps will be standardized for households in two income tiers: 0-100 percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines, and 101-200 percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines. Customers of the large investor-owned utilities and participating Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) who are enrolled in the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program are eligible for the pilots if they are located in one of the zip codes with the highest rates of reoccurring disconnections in a utility’s service territory, or if they have experienced two or more disconnections during the 12 months prior to the disconnections moratorium.
Pandemic Debt Accumulation Project
Auto-enrollment in long-term payment plans for customers with bill debt.
In September 2021, Southern California Edison implemented the Pandemic Debt Accumulation project, addressing energy utility customer bill debt via automatic enrollment in long term payment plans Pursuant to Decision 21-06-036.
Residential Payment Plans:
Before 9/30/21, all eligible residential customers should have been automatically enrolled in a 24-month installment plan. To qualify, customer must have arrears of 60 days or greater and may not be on AMP, have an existing installment plan, budget billing plan, NEM or previously had a previous 24-month installment plan. As customers become eligible, they must be auto enrolled into 24-month installment plans until September 2022. Customers are permitted to opt-out of the plan. Customers will also be allowed two waivers for missed payments before the customer is removed from the payment plan. Should the customer miss a required payment, all payments are delayed an additional month and the customer is not required to make up the missed payment in the subsequent month. The utility must provide written notice to the customer of their removal and the outstanding amount due. While in the 24-month installment plan, customer is protected from disconnection.
Additional Details for Small Business Payment Plans:
Before 9/30/21, all eligible small business customers should have been automatically enrolled in an extended installment plan, where the monthly installment is no more than 10% (5% in Disadvantaged communities) of the customers average bill over the past 24 months. Customer must have arrears of 60 days or greater and may not be on NEM, budget billing, have an existing installment plan or previously had a pandemic installment plan. As customers become eligible, they must be auto enrolled into an extended installment plan until September 2022. Customers are permitted to opt-out of the plan. Customers will also be allowed two waivers for missed payments per calendar year before the customer is removed from the payment plan. The utility must provide written notice to the customer of their removal and the outstanding amount due. A customer is not eligible for disconnection while on the payment plan.
- What happens if a customer who is active on a payment arrangement tries to enroll in AMP?
- Customer will be removed from the payment arrangement once they are approved for AMP.
- How will this work in relation to CAPP payments? If we get the CAPP payment, will customers then default from the Payment arrangement?
- The CAPP payment will be considered a regular payment on the bill. If the amount does not pay the past due in full, then the payment arrangement will
Volkswagen(VW) Environmental Mitigation Trust Program
Partnership between CalChoice CCA’s and Blink EV Infrastructure Installation Program
The VW Environmental Mitigation Trust provides funds for California to mitigate excess nitrogen oxide emissions resulting from VW’s use of illegal emissions testing in certain VW diesel vehicles. Blink Charging has conducted site visits to participating member CCAs and submitted grant application to include CalChoice members for future installations. CalChoice received notice that submitted sites did NOT make the first round of funding allocations. Sites have been added to the waitlist funding as additional funds become available in the next year.
ChargeReady2 is Southern California Edison’s Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure program for Municipal / Government Fleets, Mixed Use Bldgs., and Commercial Bldgs. The ChargeReady2 program is in full marketing swing as of November 2021 (CalChoice Associate Members have received a fact sheet with Apple Valley Clean Energy logo). ChargeReady2 information should be shared with customers via individual CCA websites, social media etc. Additionally, City can leverage ChargeReady2 program funding.
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