Ava Community Energy Names Howard Chang as New CEO

Ava Community Energy Names Howard Chang as New CEO

Formerly COO at Ava Community Energy, Chang holds more than 20 years of renewable energy, business development and finance experience

Oakland, Calif. (June 17, 2024) – Ava Community Energy (Ava), the leading clean energy provider for more than 1.7 million residential and commercial customers across Alameda County and parts of the San Joaquin Valley, today announced it has promoted renewable energy expert and former COO Howard Chang to CEO. Chang succeeds Nick Chaset, who was the inaugural CEO of the agency starting in 2017. As the new head of Ava, Chang will focus on the goal of 100% carbon-free power by 2030; access to low-cost, clean power across its service territory, and continued engagement with the Board and community.

Chang helped launch Ava Community Energy (formerly East Bay Community Energy) in 2017. Prior to Ava, he served as Senior Director of Utility Origination & Development at Sol Systems and worked at SunEdison, where he led the C&I Channel Operations team, serving as Chief of Staff of the North America Region and in utility-scale project finance. His previous roles, including at General Electric and J.P. Morgan, have provided a breadth of experience in strategy, new business creation and operations within solar, energy management systems and other energy-related ventures.

“I want to thank the ad hoc selection committee and the recruiting firm for leading a rigorous search and interview process. From that effort, it was clear that Howard is the right leader for Ava Community Energy as we navigate this next phase of growth and impact,” said Jack Balch, Council Member at the City of Pleasanton and Ava Community Energy Board Chair. “We eagerly anticipate more landmark projects and new members joining Ava Community Energy this year – including the launch of our EV fast-charging network, our e-bike incentives and our official expansion into Stockton and Lathrop. Howard is an experienced hand to successfully drive us toward these important goals that benefit those in the Ava Community Energy territory.”

In just a few years, Ava has grown to be one of the nation’s top green power providers. This year, Ava announced two marquee milestones: enabling more than $100 million in customer savings and contracting for more than one gigawatt of wind, solar and storage projects. As CEO, Chang will oversee all facets driving Ava’s long-term vision for accelerating renewable energy adoption across its communities in Alameda County and San Joaquin Valley, offering innovative approaches that go above and beyond the regular scope of traditional utilities.

“I can truly think of no person more qualified to lead Ava in our ambitious clean energy work,” said Nick Chaset, former CEO of Ava Community Energy. “Howard is a talented leader, canny negotiator and caring manager. Ava is in great hands going forward.”

“I am immeasurably grateful for the Board’s trust in me as the next leader of Ava Community Energy. I am honored to continue its legacy as a model for the broader energy transition, in California and nationwide,” said Howard Chang, newly appointed CEO at Ava Community Energy. “I look forward to working with the Board and the rest of the Ava team to reach our 100% carbon-free electricity goal by 2030. And as a son of first-generation immigrants, I’m especially proud to be a part of our local community, and motivated to help ensure healthy communities for future generations.”


About Ava Community Energy (Ava)

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. To date, Ava has saved customers more than $100 million and contracted for more than one gigawatt of renewable energy projects. For more information about Ava Community Energy, visit AvaEnergy.org.

Media Contact:

Mission Control Communications for Ava Community Energy