• Community Choice Energy

  • CCE Approved for Town of Danville

    At their June 6, 2017 meeting, the Danville Town Council approved the second reading of an ordinance allowing for the Town to join with MCE Clean Energy, a Community Choice Energy program established in 2010.  MCE Clean Energy serves dozens of communities in Contra Costa, Marin and Solano counties. The group has a proven track record of securing a higher level of renewable energy while keeping rates low for consumers. With the Town Council approval, information will be shared with residents and businesses in the fall, with an expected program launch in 2018. 

    Background:  An Overview of the Community Choice Energy Program

    Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), also known as Community Choice Energy (CCE), is a program which allows cities to participate in a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) that purchases, sources or generates electricity for their residents and businesses with the goal of gaining local control of electricity generation including sourcing electricity from more renewable sources such as solar, wind, bioenergy and hydroelectric.


    Under a CCE program, the JPA would become the default electricity provider to all electricity customers (commercial and residential) within the service area.  In Danville, this would change how electricity is procured for Danville’s 16,000 customers.  While the JPA would be responsible for power generation, electricity would still be transmitted through Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)’s transmission lines and customers would continue to be billed for electricity and gas through PG&E.  Should the Town of Danville ultimately join a CCE, customers would have the ability to opt out of service from the CCE program and return to PG&E for their source of electricity.


    CCEs in Northern California


    Following the launch of CCE programs in Marin County in 2010 and Sonoma County in 2014, most communities in the Bay Area and elsewhere in the state are now in the process of studying or implementing regional CCE programs.  Napa County joined the CCE program initiated in Marin County, MCE Clean Energy, in early 2016.  The City and County of San Francisco launched a CCE program in May 2016, and San Mateo County launched its program in October 2016.  Alameda County and Santa Clara County are both establishing JPAs for this purpose, with the intent to launch programs in 2017.  In mid-2016, the cities of Lafayette and Walnut Creek joined the MCE Clean Energy, which was already the CCE program for the West Contra Costa cities of El Cerrito, Richmond and San Pablo.


    Exploring CCE Options for Contra Costa County


    The four options the Town of Danville will consider are:

    1. Stay with PG&E
    2. Join MCE Clean Energy (formerly known as Marin Clean Energy)
    3. Form a Contra Costa County CCE Program
    4. Join East Bay Community Energy (a new CCE program being established in Alameda County)
    Criteria Stay with PG&E Join MCE Clean Energy Form Contra Costa CCE Program Join East Bay Community Energy
    Electricity Rates No Change Likely Lower Likely Lower Likely Lower
    Greenhouse Gas Reduction No Change Some Some Some
    Local Control No Change Some Greatest Some
    Start Up Costs / Costs to Join N/A None Low, but greater risk None
    Level of Effort None Minimal Greatest Greater
    Program Risks None Minimal Greatest Some
    Timing/Earliest Launch N/A Late 2017 Late 2018 Mid 2018
    Local Economic Benefit Potential Minimal Some Greatest Some


    For more information about the CCE program and to read the technical study, please visit http://www.danville.ca.gov/communityenergy or http://www.cccounty.us/cce.




    Scope of the Technical Study

    The scope of the technical study includes a comparison of 3 different CCE program alternatives that could be implemented by participating jurisdictions in Contra Costa County to the fourth option of remaining with existing service from PG&E.  The three CCE alternatives considered in the study are:


    1.         Form a new joint powers authority (JPA) of the Town, county and interested cities within Contra Costa County for the purpose of implementing Community Choice Energy;


    2.         Join MCE Clean Energy (MCE) by seeking to become a members of its JPA;


    3.         Join the new JPA known as East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), along with Alameda County and the interested group of cities in the two-county East Bay region, for the purpose of CCE.


    The technical study analyzes electrical load data that the County has requested and obtained from PG&E for the unincorporated area and the 14 participating cities. The technical study projects the electricity rates that might be charged by a new CCE program in Contra Costa County to its customers under several energy procurement scenarios and compares these projected rates to PG&E’s projected rates. 


    The study assesses the potential for a CCE program to lower greenhouse gas emissions generated from energy use within the participating jurisdictions compared to current PG&E service, and the extent to which a CCE program could stimulate economic activity within the Town and County through reduced electricity rates and construction of local renewable energy generation facilities.  Finally, the study includes a comparison among the three CCE program alternatives considered and the option of continuing with existing PG&E service, and presents the tradeoffs associated with each of these four options.


    A copy of the final study is now available here.
    Final Technical Study
    Final Technical Study Appendices

    The five cities in Contra Costa County not participating in this study (El Cerrito, Lafayette, Richmond, San Pablo, and Walnut Creek) are all members of the CCE program initiated in Marin County known as MCE Clean Energy.