Overview

In a nutshell, Community Choice Energy (CCE, also known as "Community Choice Aggregation", or CCA) puts a local public agency in charge of purchasing a community’s electricity supply, with a mandate to provide a higher percentage of renewable power than PG&E does.  CCEs typically charge the same or less for power than PG&E. Customers may opt out if they wish to continue buying electricity from PG&E.  CCE gives consumers a choice where there was not one before.

There’s growing interest throughout California in CCE. It was pioneered in 2010 in Marin County and has been rolled out in Sonoma County and the city of Lancaster.  San Francisco launched in May 2016, Peninsula Clean Energy in San Mateo County launched in October 2016, and Silicon Valley Clean Energy in Santa Clara County launched in April 2017.

We believe CCE is the single most important step a region can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

To learn more about CCE, watch this informative video created by the Silicon Valley Community Choice Energy Partnership:

Video


What CCE Is:

  • Community Choice Energy (also called Community Choice Aggregation, or CCA)
  • A method to allow local government agencies to negotiate the purchasing and development of power and energy-related programs on behalf of their communities. 

  • A way for energy generation revenues to be reinvested in and by the local community. 
  • Regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission  (33% Renewable Portfolio Standard, resource adequacy, cost allocation; but not rates nor terms and conditions of service)


What CCE is Not:

  • a municipal utility

  • a department of city government

  • a complete replacement for the Investor Owned Utility (IOU – PG&E) 

  • replacement for the existing infrastructure


Benefits of CCE

  • Provides choice for citizens (renters & home owners) to participate in the green economy

  • Customers decide what mix of power they prefer, from 100% green energy to opting out, or somewhere in between

  • Meets GHG Goals in Climate Action Plan with minimal city funds
  • Generates local renewable development funds, which can be used to improve local green energy infrastructure

  • Rates are competitive to PG&E’s

  • Supports local companies that play in this industry

  • Creates local jobs (ex: 12 install and 3 maintenance jobs for each MW of new solar)

  • Transportation Electrification is increasing the future electricity needs.  (100,000 plug-in vehicles on roads today – 1300+ charging stations in Bay Area)


Silicon Valley Community Energy (SVCE)

100% carbon free electricity is now available in Silicon Valley!!  

A new Community Choice Energy program rolled out during 2017.  Eleven cities plus the unincorporated parts of Santa Clara county are participating in the program.  Together, they have formed a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) called the Silicon Valley Clean Energy Authority.  This is a not-for-profit entity which will purchase our electricity.  It promises to be less expensive and much greener than the power we get from PG&E.  

The JPA is overseen by a Board of Directors, which currently consists of one city council member from each participating jurisdiction.  The board decides on the power mix and rate structure, among other things.  The CCE program rolled out in the spring and fall of 2017.  This is only the beginning, and you can help shape the program by attending board meetings and giving public input.  The Board meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 7pm at Cupertino Community Hall, located at 10350 Torre Ave Cupertino, CA.  Come help shape our energy future!

 

History in the making

To get this far, the cities of Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Cupertino and unincorporated Santa Clara County formed a partnership in 2014 called the Silicon Valley Community Choice Energy Partnership (SVCCEP).  The main purpose of the partnership was to investigate a Comunity Choice Energy program for 12 communities in Santa Clara County in order to green our electricity and significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.  The partnership's website: Silicon Valley CCE Partnership

The first goal of SVCCEP was to study the feasibility of CCE in Santa Clara County.  That initial study and assessment report was released on May 15, 2015.  It concluded that CCE is feasible in Santa Clara County.  

SVCCEP's second task the partnership undertook was a technical study for all eligible cities in Santa Clara County.  That included the unincorporated parts of Santa Clara County plus all but four cities in the county: Santa Clara and Palo Alto have their own municipal utility, so they don't need CCE.  San Jose is too big to join, and Milpitas did not submit required energy load data in order to participate in the study.  The technical study (here) was released at the end of 2015.

In addition to the studies, the Partnership conducted massive community outreach.  It held 12 community meetings throughout the county to inform residents about the program and give details about the studies and next steps.

Once the studies were complete, eligible jurisdictions were given the option to join the Silicon Valley CCE program.  As of March 8th 2016, all 11 cities and the unincorporated county had voted to join the program.


CCE in your city

As of March 2016, all eligible cities* in Santa Clara County joined the Silicon Valley Community Choice Energy (CCE) program.  They have formed a Joint Powers Authority which is governed by one representative from each jurisdiction.  To see who your representative is, see SVCE's Board of Directors page (here).

Community Choice Energy will be rolling out in three phases in 2017 between April and October.  Stay tuned for when it will be coming to your neighborhood.

 

* Eligible cities: Campbell, the Unincorporated County, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Saratoga, Sunnyvale.