Santa Barbara Becomes Tenth CalChoice Associate Member
The City of Santa Barbara has partnered with California Choice Energy Authority (CalChoice) to launch Santa Barbara Clean Energy (SBCE), a community choice aggregation (CCA) program that will lower energy costs and increase renewable energy for residents and local businesses. Santa Barbara is the most recent of 10 associate members to join CalChoice.
The City chose to establish a CCA program as part of its strategy to reach 100% renewable electricity in the community by 2030. The new program addresses the energy partnerships, plans and structures section in its 2019 Strategic Energy Plan.
“Across California, I’ve seen CCA programs help cities get closer, if not reach, their ambitious clean energy goals,” said Lancaster Mayor and CalChoice Board Chair R. Rex Parris. “CCA programs are typically the strongest action a city can take towards achieving a high percentage of renewable energy for their community. I’m excited to see Santa Barbara achieve their goals through this program, and I’m thrilled to be able to work with them through CalChoice.”
Launching May 2021, SBCE will offer two renewable energy options: 100% and 75% renewable energy content. Customers will also have the option to opt-out of the program and remain with the local investor-owned utility Southern California Edison (SCE).
Through CalChoice, Santa Barbara will have access to a roster of highly experienced consultants and benefit from economies of scale from shared costs with the other associate members. CalChoice operational associate members include Lancaster, San Jacinto, Pico Rivera, Rancho Mirage and Apple Valley. Associate members that have not launched yet include Baldwin Park, Commerce, Palmdale, and Pomona.
“Our engagement with Santa Barbara is a significant milestone for CalChoice,” said CalChoice Executive Director Jason Caudle. “SBCE is the tenth CCA to join us and the first coastal community in our group. We’re proud to have them as an associate member, and we’re eager to assist with their CCA operations.”
While CalChoice will be responsible for technical roles such as load forecasting, power procurement and rate analysis, the City of Santa Barbara will maintain control over local governance and oversight, revenue and rate authority, procurement decisions, community outreach and marketing.
“SBCE is a great opportunity for Santa Barbara to achieve its renewable energy goals while lowering energy costs for the community,” said Santa Barbara’s Energy & Climate Program Supervisor, Alelia Parenteau. “On top of those benefits, the program will also provide a new revenue stream for the City to create community programs.”
CalChoice offers support for local governments in every phase of the CCA program implementation process, providing feasibility services to determine whether a CCA program is appropriate, developing implementation plans for members to submit to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and managing the implementation process to launch the CCA program, as well as continuing to support members once their CCA program becomes operational. To learn more about partnering opportunities with CalChoice, please visit www.CaliforniaChoiceEnergyAuthority.com.