Cost-competitive clean energy is on its way to Yolo County and Davis!

Do you want cost-competitive, more predictable electric utility rates, and cleaner energy sources? Thanks to actions taken October 25, 2016 by the Yolo County Board of Supervisors and the Davis City Council, the newly formed Valley Clean Energy Alliance Joint Powers Authority will offer just that in Fall, 2017.

The Valley Clean Energy Alliance (VCEA) follows the model set by other Community Choice Energy (CCE) programs currently in operation in California. These Community Choice Energy programs offer an average of 2-14% savings from rates with the incumbent provider. The VCEA will purchase electricity from clean and more local sources. Existing CCE programs in Marin and Sonoma Counties and the City of Lancaster offer choices of lower cost rates with a power generation portfolio cleaner than current large for-profit utilities. They also offer the option of 100% renewable energy at a slightly higher cost. VCEA may offer the option for businesses and residents in the county to sell their excess energy generated from clean energy sources to the VCEA, likely at better net metering prices than currently available. While PG&E will continue to transmit and distribute electricity, customers will have the option to remain with PG&E or to use VCEA as the source of their electricity.

The VCEA is accountable to the communities it serves with a Board comprised of local elected officials. Rate revenue will be reinvested in the community in local energy programs. The founding jurisdictions invested start-up funding to launch the program. Their investment will be reimbursed as the program will be rate-payer funded, not taxpayer subsidized.

This action also supports implementation of the Yolo County’s Climate Action Plan. In 2011, Yolo County adopted a Climate Action Plan that outlines activities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Developing a Community Choice Energy program accounts for 45% of the potential greenhouse gas emission reductions in the Plan. This one action will offer both cost competitive rates for customers and benefit the environment. “I’m thrilled the Valley Clean Energy Alliance was adopted with unanimous support from the Yolo County Board of Supervisors and the Davis City Council,” said Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor, who has worked on the CCE planning since 2011 and is a founding Board Member of the VCEA. “By partnering in this effort we can better achieve our goals of greener energy sources, cost reduction for users, and potentially offer better and predictable rates for specific groups, such as agriculture customers.”

The founding jurisdictions include the unincorporated areas of Yolo County and the City of Davis. The City of Woodland is closely monitoring the process and may join the VCEA in the near future. The cities of West Sacramento and Winters are invited to join the VCEA if it aligns with their community priorities.

You can read the staff report of this item here.