Peninsula Clean Energy
Community Choice Aggregation
California Assembly Bill 117, passed in 2002, allows California cities and counties to pool the electric load of their residents, businesses and public facilities in order to purchase and develop clean electricity - Community Choice Aggregation.
Community Choice Aggregation is a mechanism by which local governments assume responsibility for providing electrical power for residential and commercial customers in their jurisdiction in partnership with Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E). Community Choice Aggregation also provides the opportunity to fund and implement a wide variety of energy- related programs of interest to the community.
At its December 9, 2014 meeting, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors directed County staff to begin exploring the possibility of establishing a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program for unincorporated San Mateo County and interested cities. To date, two CCAs are operating in Northern California, Marin Clean Energy and Sonoma Clean Power, and another CCA is now launching in Southern California in the City of Lancaster. There are also several other jurisdictions throughout the Bay Area and the State investigating CCA for its economic and environmental potential in their communities.
The first step in investigating a CCA program in San Mateo County is the preparation of a technical study that will assess: the current electrical load; the number of potential customers; projected economic impacts; and various clean energy options and greenhouse gas reduction scenarios. The technical study will be helpful in determining whether or not the CCA can provide electricity rates that are competitive with those offered by PG&E, which is an essential element in any decision to move forward. The technical study requires, among other things, electrical load data from PG&E for all cities within the County who may be interested in joining a CCA program.
The Town is committed to an environmentally sustainable future through its policy goals and actions, including energy reduction and the adoption of clean energy and sustainability programs. Community Choice Aggregation, if determined to be technically and financially feasible, is a promising strategy to meet local clean energy goals and could provide substantial environmental and economic benefits. Determining technical and financial feasibility and public support requires the analysis of energy load data from PG&E and a focused stakeholder education and outreach effort.
In January 2015, the Town of Atherton adopted a Resolution (PDF) providing the County of San Mateo energy data for the Town of Atherton in order to allow the County to begin a feasibility study related to Community Choice Aggregation. The Town indicated its commitment to participate in the feasibility phase of Community Choice Aggregation in partnership with San Mateo County without obligation of the expenditure of any of the General Funds of the Town unless otherwise authorized by the City Council.
In January 2016, the Town of Atherton adopted a Resolution and Ordinance (PDF) joining the County of San Mateo and areas cities/towns in a Joint Powers Authority for Community Choice Aggregation. After its adoption, all residential and commercial customers within the Town's boundaries are a part of Peninsula Clean Energy's service territory. In accordance with State regulations, Peninsula Clean Energy will host an "opt out" program, meaning that all customers will be provided with a period of time to opt out of the program and back to PG&E services.
Next Steps and Current Status
The project is currently in Phase 2 of its implementation. It is anticipated that by April 2016, there will be an Implementation Plan Submission and notices will be sent to all customers by May 2016. Phase 3 of the Project (Program Launch) is anticipated in August 2016.
The Town has two representatives (primary and alternate) appointed to the Governing Board of Peninsula Clean Energy. Council Member Rick DeGolia serves as the primary Board Member and Council Member Bill Widmer serves as the alternate.
For up to date information about Community Choice Aggregation and Committee activities, to include project documents, meeting minutes, and presentations, visit the Peninsula Clean Energy Website.