Ava Community Energy CEO Nick Chaset Announces Plans to Step Down

Ava Community Energy CEO Nick Chaset Announces Plans to Step Down

Chaset, who will remain CEO through mid-July 2024, has served as Ava Community Energy CEO since 2017 and has led the company through an era of unprecedented achievement and growth

Oakland, Calif. (February 27, 2024) – Ava Community Energy (Ava), formerly East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), today announced that Nick Chaset will be stepping down as Chief Executive Officer, effective July 15, 2024, to join a global clean energy company as a senior executive leader. Chaset has been with Ava since its formation in 2017 and served as the company’s first CEO, leading the company through an era of unprecedented achievement and growth. The Board is opening a formal search process.

“I joined Ava because I wanted to build a clean energy agency that would operate at a scale large enough to bend the trajectory of the clean energy transition in a meaningful way,” said Chaset. “My goal with Ava was to show our community that clean energy can be more affordable, more reliable, and just plain better than fossil fuel. And, over the past seven years, we have achieved just that. I’m proud of the fact that Ava Community Energy has become a national trailblazer in broadening equitable access to clean energy, building resilience in our communities, and creating a broader demand for clean energy solutions.”

Chaset joined and helped to found Ava Community Energy in 2017 after serving as the Chief of Staff for the California Public Utilities Commission. Under Chaset’s guidance, Ava experienced monumental growth, maintaining a consistent 95 percent customer retention and adding five new jurisdictions to its original customer geography – Newark, Pleasanton, Tracy, Stockton and Lathrop – currently serving a population of 1.7 million people. Throughout its expansion, Ava has returned millions of dollars in savings back to customers, with an estimated $39 million in bill savings in this fiscal year alone.

“With Nick as CEO, Ava established and has maintained an A Credit Rating as well as set a target of 100 percent clean energy by 2030 – 15 years ahead of California’s goal,” said Elisa Márquez, Supervisor for Alameda County and outgoing Ava Community Energy Board Chair. “Nick’s visionary leadership has helped Ava to become a national blueprint for how to build the infrastructure needed to decarbonize our communities.”

Over the past seven years, Ava has also consistently provided reduced costs compared to PG&E, right now at 5 percent cost savings for its baseline product and maintaining a small premium for its 100 percent renewable energy product. Ava’s growing list of resilience and electrification programs includes $17.5M for public EV chargers across Alameda County, nearly 1350 residential solar and battery backup installations that contribute to a first-of-its-kind virtual power plant, and a try-before-you-buy induction cooktop program. Since its formation, Ava’s team has grown to include 80 employees, and the company was recently named one of America’s “Great Places to Work.”

“Under Nick’s direction, Ava Community Energy has become one of the largest purveyors of 100% renewable energy in the entire country,” said Jack Balch, Council Member at the City of Pleasanton and incoming Ava Community Energy Board Chair. “The entire Ava community is grateful for Nick’s ongoing contributions in bringing broader access to clean energy to residents across the East Bay and the Valley.”

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About Ava Community Energy
Ava Community Energy (Ava), formerly East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), is the not-for-profit public power provider for more than 1.7 million residents and commercial customers in Alameda County and the City of Tracy, with service extending to the San Joaquin County cities of Stockton and Lathrop in 2025. As one of 25 community choice aggregation (CCA) programs operating in California, Ava is part of the movement to provide energy choice while expediting local and state-wide climate action goals. Ava is committed to creating a brighter future in our communities and beyond by providing clean power at competitive rates, reinvesting in our member communities, and developing programs that make it easy for customers to discover, try and adopt clean energy solutions. For more information about Ava Community Energy, visit avaenergy.org.