Community Choice Energy

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Dave Room:

"Community Choice Energy allows local governments to offer lower electricity prices to residents through bulk purchases and become providers themselves. It is working already in Massachusetts, Ohio, and California to deliver cleaner, more affordable power than investor owned utilities.

With Community Choice Energy, cities and counties contract with a licensed energy service provider to purchase energy in bulk, build renewable energy generating facilities, and implement energy efficiency programs. This efficient public/private partnership makes it possible to get the greenest energy at the best rates. Each consumer is enrolled in the program unless they “opt out.” In other words, consumers can choose to buy electricity through the community Choice program or stay with the investor-owned utility. The city or county keeps prices competitive—and affordable for low-income residents— while investing in renewable energy generation and energy efficiency with full citizen oversight. The utility company continues to handle transmission and billing.

Here in Oakland, we are advocating to use Community Choice Energy as a Community Development Strategy that honors the cross sectorial alliances and coalitions that have been campaigning for green economic development and clean energy jobs for the last several years. The Community Development approach gives these forces a seat at the table such that they can collaborate with Oakland to develop a program that creates local business opportunities, local jobs, and greenhouse gas reductions.

The Community Development approach prioritizes local renewable energy, regional wind, and clean co-generation, as well as aggressive measures to reduce load, including energy efficiency and conservation measures such as demand response. This approach provides local green house gas reductions as well as local green jobs and business opportunities." (