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EPISODE 19 | 33 MINS

Taking Back the Power – Community Choice Aggregation

WITH ALEX DIGIORGIO


TOPIC

The Next Frontier in Community Energy

IN THIS EPISODE

01:39 Introduction of Alex DiGiorgio.
01:57 Alex describes what Marin Clean Energy (MCE) is.
03:45 What is Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), and how does it work?
06:53 Do the consumers get to choose the mix of energy they’re receiving?
09:17 How many different choices do consumers have?
10:33 What is the price difference between the lowest option and the highest option?
12:17 Can the cost be lowered if more people join?
13:52 How is MCE doing with their opt-out rates?
15:14 Who is the opposition?
16:00 How widely spread are CCAs (in California)?
17:30 Is there anything outside of California that is comparable to the CCA concept?
18:22 Alex explains the success of sourcing alternative renewable energy at a lower price.
21:18 Alex shares how a CCA impacts low-income communities and how it creates more equitable outcomes.
24:57 Will the Clean Energy Incentive Program help make CCAs available everywhere?
27:24 Alex shares how listeners can learn more about CCAs.
28:50 Alex shares one change that would lead to smarter, more sustainable, and more equitable communities.
29:46 Alex describes the action that listeners can take to help build a more equitable and sustainable future.
30:10 Alex explains what the energy field in California looks like 30 years from now.


GUEST

As MCE Clean Energy (MCE)’s Community Development Manager, Alex DiGiorgio collaborates with stakeholders throughout MCE’s service area to advance sustainable development and expand access to competitively-priced renewable energy. By cultivating partnerships with residents, businesses, local leaders, and community groups, Alex helps MCE customers determine which resources they wish to support through their electricity purchases. Alex received his law degree from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, where he earned certificates of specialization in energy regulation and environmental law.

ORGANIZATION

MCE’s mission is to address climate change by reducing energy-related greenhouse gas emissions through renewable energy supply and energy efficiency at stable and competitive rates for customers while providing local economic and workforce benefits.

MCE makes it possible for you to take advantage of cleaner energy that’s better for the environment without doing anything at all. When you sign up for PG&E service in Marin County, unincorporated Napa County or the cities of Benicia, El Cerrito, Richmond and San Pablo, you are automatically enrolled in our standard Light Green 50% renewable energy program, which comes from sources like solar, wind, bioenergy, geothermal, and small hydroelectric. Or, you can sign up for Deep Green 100% renewable energy from Green-e Energy certified, non-polluting sources. PG&E will continue to deliver your energy through their standard power lines, and their repair and maintenance teams in the familiar blue trucks still provide the same reliable service you’re used to — rain or shine.

TAKEAWAY QUOTES

“Community-choice programs allow cities and counties to join together and then offer an alternative energy-supply portfolio to all of the electricity consumers within their jurisdiction. That’s really what CCA is: it’s the public option for energy administered at the local level.”

“If CCA’s can keep their opt-out rates low—and better yet, if they can get their opt-up rates high—then…that should help to both stabilize rates and reduce them.”

“Community-choice programs—and some of these are called something different. They’re sometimes called municipal-choice programs, but they’re essentially the same thing. They’re often operated very similarly.—They’ve been operating in other states, about five or six other states, since the 1990s.”

“With a CCA, there are no shareholders to whom we have to pay a dividend, so we can take what would have otherwise gone to shareholder profits and reinvest those in other ways, either developing more renewable energy supply or piloting new programs in innovative policies or giving it back to the rate base in the form of lower rates.”

RESOURCES

Episode 004: Renewable Energy and Taking Control of Your Future – In this episode, we speak with Richmond, CA Mayor Tom Butt about renewable energy in the City of Richmond and the role MCE Clean Energy has played in bringing sustainable energy and economic benefits to the community.

MCE Clean Energy website

Learn more about Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) and AB 117 on the Local Government Commission’s website

Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Fact Sheet funded by California Energy Commission and Department of Energy prepared by the Local Government Commission

Local Energy Aggregation Network

Sonoma Clean Power

CleanPowerSF

THANKS FOR LISTENING

Thanks so much for joining us. Have some feedback or an idea you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below.

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