Proposed energy provider releases plan for public
■ Western Community Energy / Contributed
The Western Community Energy (WCE) Board of Directors has released its Draft Implementation Plan for public review and comment. WCE, a joint powers authority consisting of the Cities of Canyon Lake, Eastvale, Hemet, Jurupa Valley, Norco, Perris, and Wildomar, was formed for the purpose of developing a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Program to purchase energy on behalf of residents and businesses in these communities. CCA allows local governments to pool (or aggregate) their electricity load in order to purchase and/or develop power projects on behalf of their residents, businesses, and municipal accounts.
Established by state law, CCA is an energy supply model that works in partnership with the region’s existing utility, in our case Southern California Edison (SCE), which continues to deliver power, maintain the grid, and provide consolidated billing and other customer services. 19 CCA Programs exist in California serving an estimated 2.5 million customer accounts, and many more efforts, like WCE, are in the planning stages. The benefits of CCAs are extensive and include:
• Competitive, often significantly lower, electricity rates;
• A cleaner, more efficient energy supply;
• Consumer choice;
• Local control for rate setting and energy programs;
• Local jobs creation and local power resiliency;
• Complementary energy programs such as net energy metering, energy efficiency retrofits, distributed rooftop and community solar, electric vehicle incentives and demand response technologies; and
• New renewable power development.
As part of the planning process, the Western Community Energy (WCE) Board of Directors has released its Draft Implementation Plan for public review and comment. In accordance with state law, the plan details how WCE will operate. It is anticipated that WCE could begin providing energy to its customers by April 2020.
The plan examines the impacts of aggregation and provides WCE’s statement of intent for implementing a CCA program that includes:
• Universal access;
• Equitable treatment of all customer classes;
• Compliance with state law and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), concerning aggregated service; and
• An established cost recovery mechanism to reimburse SCE for any power procurement or generation expenses already incurred on behalf of WCE’s constituents.
Once adopted at a Public Hearing, currently scheduled for Dec. 12 at the Western Riverside Council of Governments’ office (address listed below), the plan will be submitted to the CPUC for certification.
For more information on WCE, please visit www.westerncommunityenergy.com
Comments will be accepted until Nov. 30 and should be submitted to the following address: Western Community Energy c/o Western Riverside Council of Governments at 3390 University Avenue, Suite 450 in Riverside 92501 to Barbara Spoonhour, Deputy Executive Director – Operations or via email to: email@example.com
Electronic copies of the plan can be found at http://westerncommunityenergy.com/implementation-plan/ or http://wrcog.us/272/Western-Community-Energy
About Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs
A CCA is a model that allows communities to purchase power to meet their electricity needs, offering an alternative choice in the market—often the only alternative to sourcing power from the investor owned utility (IOU). CCAs can provide the communities they serve with competitively priced, clean energy choices while reinvesting revenues into projects and programs, supporting the local economy.
CCAs are established by local communities, either through the creation of a joint powers authority or enterprise fund. While CCAs are locally operated, they work in partnership with the region’s existing IOU, in our case, SCE. Through this partnership, CCAs determine the source and procure the electricity, while the existing IOUs continue delivering the energy, maintaining the grid and providing billing services.
CCAs are becoming increasingly common across the state, with two located near Western Riverside County, one covering most of Los Angeles County, which will offer discounted rates to both residents and businesses. A CCA in Western Riverside County, will allow the region to compete with these communities to attract new businesses and residents.
WRCOG is providing initial administrative and management support to Western Community Energy. WRCOG is a joint powers authority, consisting of the County of Riverside, 18 cities, two regional water districts, the Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. Its actions and activities are guided by its members. Recognizing that issues related to growth are not constrained by city or county boundaries, WRCOG focuses on a number of regional matters important to the future of Western Riverside County. By working together through its committee structure and utilizing existing resources, WRCOG is cost-effective by reducing duplication of effort and sharing information, enabling strong advocacy and strengthening Western Riverside County’s standing in southern California and the state. WRCOG program areas are varied and range from transportation to air quality, solid waste, environment, energy, economy, sustainability, and growth. For more information about WRCOG please visit http://www.wrcog.us/.