Residents of Carpinteria, Goleta and unincorporated Southern Santa Barbara County will see a new item on their energy bill beginning in October: Central Coast Community Energy.
CCCE is a public agency governed by officials of the communities it serves. It sources competitively priced, clean energy sources while providing incentives and rebates to customers.
Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric continue delivering energy and sending a monthly bill, but CCCE makes decisions about the source of the energy and takes over the charges for electric generation.
Financial assistance programs such as CARE, FERA, Medical Baseline, AMP and California’s Climate Credits remain available.
Customers will receive notifications in the mail this month as well as in September, November and December. CCCE is also hosting webinars about the transition in English and Spanish.
“With service for customers in Carpinteria, Goleta and southern Santa Barbara County beginning in October Central Coast Community Energy will bring choice and more opportunities for customers,” Das Williams, Santa Barbara County supervisor and CCCE Policy Board vice chair said in a news release.
“As an agency, CCCE is moving the needle on reducing emissions and creating new renewable energy resources that benefit not just the whole state but our planet while maintaining affordability for its Central Coast customers,” he said.
CCCE already operates as far north as Santa Cruz County, serving approximately 350,000 Central Coast customers. It has provided incentives and rebates such as funding for electric vehicles and charging stations, zero-emissions electric school buses, electric agricultural equipment and more.
CCCE reports a total of $49.5 million in community reinvestment since its launch in 2018 and a 50% rate reduction totaling $22 million for May and June 2020.
“Our expansion to serve 3 new communities in Santa Barbara County marks an important transition in CCCE’s development as a community choice energy agency,” said CCCE CEO Tom Habashi. “Our southward expansion led to a name change, a larger board and most importantly a new direction and a real commitment to renewable energy. By October of this year, CCCE will be serving four counties and 29 cities along the California Central Coast.”
The agency has $12 million available to fund energy programs in the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
“After years of community support and study, we are pleased that Goleta is moving forward with this ‘community choice’ energy model. Joining CCCE will help further Goleta’s goal of providing fossil-free electricity. The City of Goleta is excited by what is offered by this new energy option: competitive rates, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and a greater offering of programs to invest in our community,” Kyle Richards, Goleta City Council member and CCCE Policy Board member said.
“Joining Central Coast Community Energy allows our community to receive the benefits of choice, local control, competitive rates and ways to further reduce local greenhouse gas emissions.” Katie Davis, CCCE Community Advisory Council member, said. “I’m proud to be representing the County of Santa Barbara and witnessing the innovative solutions CCCE is capable of providing to the communities it serves.”
CCCE has a commitment to 60% clean and renewable energy by 2025 and 100% clean and renewable energy by 2030 — 15 years ahead of the state’s goal.
It has $1.1 billion in long-term renewable energy contracts and is looking for long-duration storage of renewable energy.
For more information, go to 3cenergy.org/2021-enrollment.
— Annelise Hanshaw