City may consider its own energy program

KING CITY — The King City Council has decided to look outside of Monterey Bay Community Power and consider the feasibility of establishing an independent community choice energy program.

The Community Choice Energy (CCE) or Aggregation (CCA) becomes the electric power provider and PG&E continues to transmit and bill the power. Customers can opt out of the program and continue to receive their power directly from PG&E.

The Council chose between two options on March 28, either joining the Monterey Bay Community Power Joint Powers Authority or to form its own city CCE by contracting with an outside operator.

“Staff is recommending that further study on looking into forming our own CCE,” City Manager Steve Adams said. “We are a proponent of the Monterey Bay Community Power program ... and we applaud those that have organized this effort.”

Although Monterey Bay Community Power had the advantages of is it is ready to go and in place, feasibility studies are complete, the city staff was pretty confident that the program would be successful the city staff and city council decided to pursue another direction.

“At this point they do not have a specific adopted plan on how exactly the savings will be spent,” Adams said. “That will be determined when they seat their boards.”

With the recent violence, the Council members wanted to see the extra savings from lower rates used for street lighting; however, when representatives of Monterey Bay Community Power plead their case, they said the savings would be passed onto the consumers.

“The key advantage of pursuing or forming our own CCE is that the city would be able to decide and control where the savings would be directed,” Adams said. “Staff has developed a specific proposal on how we would recommend those savings be directed so that the council, the community could see specifically what the potential benefits of this program could be.”

The City Staff proposal according to Adams would be to dedicate one-third of the savings to reducing customer rates, one-third to clean energy and energy efficiency projects, and one-third to installation and operation of new street lights.

“If you take the projections using the feasibility study, on average savings generated over a seven year period that would mean approximately a 1.5 percent overall rate reduction.”

The number would be different based on customer usage.

The City is proposing to partner with agencies that participate in similar programs to set up a program to award solar panel improvements to low-income families, non-profit agencies, schools, and other entities that provide public benefit.

The idea to form an individual CCE was supported by Mayor Mike Lebarre, Council Members Darlene Acosta and Carlos DeLeon. Mayor Pro-Tem Carlos Victoria and Council Member Robert Cullen were in favor of joining the larger JPA with Monterey Bay Community Power.

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