The Tri-County Area of Central California encompassing Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey Counties is starting the process of Community Choice Energy (CCE), or Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) energy.
In this video, Mederi Founder Daniel B. Lake interviews Woody Hastings of the Center for Climate Protection. They have helped Sonoma Clean Power to save millions of dollars over the years by keeping the profits from the energy sector local in the form of a non-profit enterprise.
The video was filmed at Wave St Studios, on Cannery Row.
The law allowing CCA passed on a state level in 2001, and Sonoma and other counties have initiated their community power programs in the early oughts, yet here we still are hoping to one day go on line with community power in 2017. CA as a state has set goals to become 100% renewable by 2045. With this pace of taking 16 years to achieve very basic steps that are already working very effectively in other counties, it seems as though we will not reach our goals.
Monterey Bay Community Power is the Community Choice Energy program in the tri-county area. It is expected to come online anytime later in 2017 or early 2018. This means that we will all be automatically enrolled into buying energy from a non-profit local supplier, rather than PG&E, yet through the same service lines as always. Other counties have kept upwards of 98% choosing to stay with CCE rather than PG&E.
We really have to question the leadership during this time. Meetings are meant to be public yet are held on weekdays at 9am. We can buy Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s) and greenwash our way into profits, or we can truly revolutionize our local economy, job market and clean energy grid.
The most ethical manner to deploy CCE is also the most beneficial for the community. We must use Co-Operative work enterprises and pay workers livable wages (comparable to actual living costs in the area) to install local solar farms so that we can truly create local clean power and jobs at the same time.