Central Coast Community Energy CEO, Tom Habashi, Announces Retirement

Central Coast Community Energy CEO, Tom Habashi, Announces Retirement

Habashi plans to retire at the conclusion of his current contract on March 31, 2023

Monterey, CA — September 21, 2022 — Tom Habashi today announced his plan to retire from Central Coast Community Energy (CCCE) at the conclusion of his contract on March 31, 2023.

Mr. Habashi’s announcement was made during CCCE’s second annual meeting, a two-day, public event attended by the agency’s 33 board members, who represent the cities and counties that signed the Joint Powers Authority agreement underlying the agency’s formation.

Under Habashi’s leadership, CCCE grew from serving 265,000 customers in 2018 to approximately 435,000 customers today. As CEO, Habashi worked closely with the board of directors to develop and implement a vision aimed at providing clean and renewable energy at affordable rates to residents and businesses across five counties, from Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara. A public agency, CCCE was formed to bring local control to energy sourcing and pricing. The agency has committed to acquire $2 billion of power generated from new-build renewable energy projects, anticipated to produce 889 MW of zero-carbon energy for the region, or 60% of the area’s electric load by 2025. CCCE adopted a plan in 2021 to achieve 100% renewable power by 2030, ahead of state and federal goals.

“On behalf of the entire board, I want to express our sincerest thanks to Tom for his leadership of CCCE,” said CCCE Board Chair and Salinas Councilman Steve McShane. “Tom and his entire executive team are credited with extraordinary accomplishments in procuring cleaner power for our communities and in establishing a new model for the way we purchase energy. Community Choice Aggregation agencies now serve more than a quarter of the state’s electric load. Tom has been a key player in this movement, having been responsible for starting two separate CCAs, also the industry trade association, CalCCA, the California Community Choice Financing Authority, and CC Power, a separate Joint Powers Authority that allows CCAs to leverage their joint buying power in a manner similar to public utilities.  We’ve been lucky to have him at the helm here on the Central Coast.”

CCCE Operations Board Chair and Santa Cruz County Administrator Carlos Palacios announced that a search process will begin immediately through a board sub-committee, which is expected to put forward a candidate to the Policy Board for approval in December.

“It’s been an honor for me to work alongside our board, executive leadership team, and the talented employees that make up CCCE,” said Habashi. “I came with the goal of establishing an agency that would be here for the long-term and which could bring faster progress on climate goals. It’s an ideal time to hand the reigns to a new CEO. Our fundamental strategies are in place and have begun to bear fruit. CCCE’s next leader will be able to shape and execute the pathway to our commitment of bringing 100% renewable energy to our communities as laid out by our board.”

During Habashi’s tenure, CCCE became the first Community Choice Aggregation agency to earn an A credit rating by Standard and Poor’s. He is also responsible for growing CCCE’s Energy Programs, designed to reinvest in local communities through incentive funding for electrifying buildings and transportation, from $2.6 million in 2018 to nearly $16 million in FY 22/23.

“Tom led CCCE in the spirit intended by our communities when we came together with the vision to bring local, publicly owned power to the Central Coast,” said Santa Cruz County Supervisor and founding board member Bruce McPherson. “At the time we knew he was the right person for the job, and he hasn’t let us down. Tom has guided the agency through the challenges of an energy crisis and a global pandemic. His financial insight and clear vision have made Central Coast Community Energy a leader among Community Choice Aggregation Agencies.”

The CEO search process will focus on identifying a leader that shares the vision articulated by CCCE’s board and who demonstrates a passion for and commitment to the development of the agency, combined with the experience and qualities required to continue an accelerated transition to a sustainable energy future for the region. The agency invites the public to get involved in the process by sharing their recommendations on the necessary key attributes for CCCE’s next CEO. The survey is accessible at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FRSNS7H and will be open until October 31, 2022.

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About Central Coast Community Energy

Central Coast Community Energy is a public agency that sources competitively priced electricity from clean and renewable energy resources. CCCE is locally controlled and governed by board members who represent each community served by the agency. Revenue generated by CCCE stays local and helps keep electricity rates affordable for customers, while also funding innovative energy programs designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions and stimulate economic development. CCCE serves 436,000 customers throughout the Central Coast, including residential, commercial, and agricultural customers in communities located within Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more at 3CEnergy.org and on social media, including FacebookInstagram, and Twitter @3CEnergy.

For more information:
Central Coast Community Energy
Catherine Stedman

SB 612 Sample Support Letters

Please submit your letter of support here.

Individual

As a California ratepayer I am writing to express my support for SB 612 by Senator Anthony Portantino. All ratepayers deserve fair and equitable treatment, regardless of their energy provider. Today that’s not true. SB 612 addresses this inequity by ensuring all ratepayers equally share the costs and benefits of the energy they pay for. The impacts of COVID-19 have made the importance of righting this inequity and lowering costs for all customers even more urgent. Please vote ‘yes’ on SB 612. 

Organization

[Insert name of your organization] supports SB 612 which benefits all ratepayers by ensuring fair and equal access to the benefits of legacy energy resources and contracts.

Over the last decade, more than 11 million customers have transitioned from IOU electric service to CCAs, local government-owned utilities choosing to purchase electricity on behalf of their communities. As part of this transition, CCA customers must share in the cost responsibility with IOU customers for IOU-owned generation and electricity supply contracts entered into by IOUs prior to CCA customers’ departure for CCA service.

While CCA customers must pay their fair share of the contracts, they do not have fair access to the full range of beneficial resources these contracts provide as those benefits are retained by the IOU for their customers. As a result, CCA customers must turn to increasingly scarce markets to procure resources to serve their customers while IOU customers have a full portfolio of resources at their disposal. There is no good policy rationale for this inequitable treatment of CCA customers versus their IOU counterparts.

To correct this inequity, SB 612 seeks to update electricity policies concerning legacy contracts so they are fair to all ratepayers, regardless of energy provider. Please vote ‘yes’ on SB 612.

Please submit your letter of support here.

California opens rulemaking on provider of last resort, as customers move away from utilities

Utility Dive

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) opened a rulemaking Thursday to implement a provider of last resort (POLR) framework for the state, to ensure customers will receive electricity even if their power provider goes under or isn’t able to continue service.

Investor-owned utilities in the state currently serve as the POLR in each of their service territories. But in a second phase of the new rulemaking, regulators intend to focus on other entities that could take on that role.

A POLR, essentially a utility or entity that is obliged to serve all customers, isn’t specific to the electric sector — telecommunications carriers of last resort, for instance, have existed since the 1990s. In California, the concept has become especially relevant since the state restructured its electricity markets and transitioned away from vertically-integrated utilities that controlled generation, transmission and distribution, to a more competitive landscape.

Now, a host of other entities — like community choice aggregators (CCAs) and direct access providers, can provide customers with electricity. Moreover, customers have increasingly been turning to distributed solar and storage resources. As a result, a large chunk of load in the state is no longer in the hands of investor-owned utilities.

The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) welcomes the discussion around improving the POLR process and “believes policies should be updated to reflect the reality of today’s electricity market in California, one in which CCAs serve the vast majority of customers in their service territories”, the group said in an emailed statement.

“We look forward to engaging in the CPUC rulemaking to ensure CCAs have a clear pathway to be designated as POLR,” CalCCA added.

Read more here: California opens rulemaking on provider of last resort, as customers move away from utilities | Utility Dive

SV Clean Energy Receives Clean Financial Audit

Local energy agency receives audit report

Sunnyvale, Calif. – On March 10, Pisenti & Brinker, LLP reported clean and unmodified financial audit results for the 2019 – 2020 fiscal year, to the Silicon Valley Clean Energy Board of Directors. This is the fourth clean and unmodified audit received by the agency.

“The audit went well, you are getting a clean opinion,” said Brett Bradford, Audit Partner for Pisenti & Brinker. “We didn’t identify any weaknesses in internal controls.”

The Pisenti & Brinker audit focused on revenue recognition, cash balances, accrued cost of electricity and other liabilities.

“The audit process offers great transparency into how Silicon Valley Clean Energy is operating,” said Margaret Abe-Koga, SVCE Board Chair and City of Mountain View Councilmember. “The Board of Directors is pleased with the clean audit and the financial practices SVCE has and continues to implement.”

The result of this audit is another positive indicator of SVCE’s financial standings. Additional financial indicators include SVCE’s ‘A’ credit rating from S&P Global in early 2021, and the ‘Baa2’ rating from Moody’s in 2020.

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About Silicon Valley Clean Energy

Silicon Valley Clean Energy is a not-for-profit, community-owned agency providing clean electricity from renewable and carbon-free sources to more than 270,000 residential and commercial customers in 13 Santa Clara County jurisdictions. As a public agency, net revenues are returned to the community to keep rates competitive and promote clean energy programs. Silicon Valley Clean Energy is advancing innovative solutions to fight climate change by decarbonizing the grid, transportation, and buildings. Learn more at SVCleanEnergy.org.

 

Media Contact:

Michaela Pippin, michaela.pippin@svcleanenergy.org, 408-721-5301 x1020

3CE PROVIDES $700,000 FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLE INCENTIVES

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE 2/24/21

3CE PROVIDES $700,000 FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLE INCENTIVES

 Central Coast Program Bridges Gap Between Regional EV Programs, Boosts Low-Income Benefits, Energizes Progress Toward State and Local EV & Emissions Goals

 

Monterey, CA. February 24, 2021 – Central Coast Community Energy (3CE) today launched the 3CE Electrify Your Ride Program, offering 3CE customers with cash rebates toward the purchase or lease of new or used electric vehicles.  While transportation accounts for an estimated 41% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, currently less than 2% of vehicles on the Central Coast are electric. 3CE’s program is aimed at accelerating the adoption of electric and alternative-fuel vehicles for residential and commercial customers, as well as public agencies. This focus on vehicle adoption will bring 3CE’s EV adoption efforts full circle after partnering with the California Energy Commission on the California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project (CALeVIP) to provide local businesses and property owners access to $7 million in funding for the construction of new or upgraded EV charging stations. More infrastructure funding could be in store for late 2021.

 

“The Central Coast is poised to see a dramatic increase in electric vehicle adoption,” shares Central Coast Community Energy’s Policy Board Chair and County of Santa Cruz Board Chair, Bruce McPherson. “3CE’s rapid response to delivering funds to electrify local vehicles, fleets, and buses is a testament to our flexibility and innovation. The transportation sector has been identified as one of our top focus areas for reducing local greenhouse gas emissions.” 

 

The Electrify Your Ride EV Incentive Program totals $700,000 in funding and is available on a first-come, first-served basis to all 3CE customers across 26 cities and four counties. Residential customers are eligible for one 3CE clean vehicle incentive per household, and commercial/agricultural customers as well as public agencies interested in electrifying their transportation fleets are eligible for up to five vehicles per company/agency.

3CE’s EV program offers double the incentive amount for eligible income-qualified customers, a step toward addressing local climate equity through 3CE’s GHG reducing energy programs. The income-qualified verification process is simple by design – customers need only one of the following: to be enrolled in PG&E’s CARE or FERA programs or be enrolled in the LIHEAP program. 3CE’s Electrify Your Ride Program, in combination with other available funding from State and Federal resources helps make clean vehicles more accessible and affordable. Currently, the average income-qualified residential participant can save up to $4,000 on a new electric vehicle through 3CE incentives and up to $15,000 by combining all other available incentives and rebates. EV shoppers can learn more about additional incentives and rebates by visiting 3CE’s website.

Table-and-Logo

New vehicles eligible for the program mirror the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project’s eligible vehicle list while eligible used vehicle requirements include 75,000 odometer miles or less, model year between 2014 and 2021, no open recalls, and a clean title. Additional requirements can be found on the EV incentive webpage.

 

“3CE continues to design and fund impactful programs that create meaningful greenhouse gas reductions while supporting the electrification of our Central Coast” shares 3CE CEO, Tom Habashi. “3CE is excited to continue accelerating the electrification of the transportation sector to reduce the climate impact locally.”

 

3CE Energy Programs are aimed at reducing GHG emissions in the three sectors which emit the most emissions: transportation, buildings and agriculture, as well as additional efforts to improve regional energy resiliency. By providing incentives to electrify infrastructure, equipment and everyday resources used by residential, commercial and agricultural customers, 3CE is making the greatest impact possible and making resources available to all types of customers. For more information about 3CE Energy Programs, please visit 3CEnergy.org/energy-programs/

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About Central Coast Community Energy

Central Coast Community Energy (3CE) is a public agency that sources competitively priced electricity from clean and renewable energy resources. 3CE is locally controlled and governed by board members who represent each community served by the agency. Revenue generated by 3CE stays local and helps keep electricity rates affordable for customers, while also funding innovative energy programs designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions and stimulate economic development. 3CE serves more than 400,000 customers throughout the Central Coast, including residential, commercial and agricultural customers in communities located within Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more at 3CEnergy.org and on social media, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @3CEnergy.

Statewide Incentives for Energy Storage: Humboldt County Homes and Businesses are Signing Up for No- or Low-Cost Battery Systems

NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Nancy Stephenson
Phone: (707) 382-7110
Email: nstephenson@redwoodenergy.org
www.redwoodenergy.org

Statewide Incentives for Energy Storage

Humboldt County Homes and Businesses are Signing Up for No- or Low-Cost Battery Systems

Eureka, CA – Sept. 3, 2020.  Redwood Coast Energy Authority encourages our customers to take advantage of rebates available for a limited time for installing energy storage technology such as batteries at homes, businesses, and public facilities. Energy storage can reduce utility bills and keep the lights on during a power outage.

The California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) is providing these incentives. RCEA encourages our customers to reach out to an approved developer to reserve any potential incentives and rebates from SGIP as they are going fast. RCEA is negotiating a contract with one of these approved developers, Swell Energy, to implement a program specifically for our Community Choice Energy customers, which would add value to the SGIP. Swell Energy has said that residential incentive sign-ups may be filled up in less than three weeks, and we encourage you to contact them to see if you would qualify. Swell Energy is just one of the developers under SGIP, and they will be working with local companies for installation. A complete list of developers is available on RCEA’s website.

As of September 1, over $26 million of incentives has been reserved in Humboldt County, which includes Residential, Commercial, Tribal, and Public Facilities.

“The Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District requested $2.9 million in SGIP funds, and PG&E is reviewing our request,” said HBMWD Board member Sheri Woo. “The funds would allow energy storage at the Essex station and the Turbidity Reduction Facility, allowing us to avoid or greatly reduce energy use during expensive peak times.”

In response to California’s wildfires and Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) the CPUC has authorized funding of more than $1 billion through 2024 for SGIP. This funding includes prioritization of communities living in high fire-threat areas, communities that have experienced two or more utility PSPS events, as well as low income and medically vulnerable customers. Residential customers who meet one of the following may be eligible for a no- or low-cost energy storage system:

  1. Are eligible for medical baseline.
  2. Have a serious illness that is life-threatening if disconnected from electricity.
  3. Rely on an electric well pump.
  4. Live in income-qualified housing.

The funds are also available for critical facilities that support community resilience in the event of a PSPS event or wildfire, such as police stations; fire stations; emergency operations centers; 911 call centers; medical facilities; hospitals; skilled nursing facilities; nursing homes; public and private gas, electric, water, wastewater and flood control facilities; dialysis centers; jails and prisons; cooling centers; homeless shelters; grocery stores; corner stores; and markets and supermarkets with less than $15 million in annual receipts.

An added benefit to the installation of distributed storage systems throughout the state is that they can be connected into a virtual power plant system to lessen peak demands and reduce the need for statewide Flex Alerts and rolling blackouts. RCEA is working with partners to establish such a system.

To check if you qualify and begin the application process, contact one of the developers listed on RCEA’s website, or Swell Energy at (310) 340- 0493 or email support@swellenergy.com For more information, please visit RCEA’s website, https://redwoodenergy.org/, email info@redwoodenergy.org, or call (707) 269-1700.

ABOUT RCEA:

The Redwood Coast Energy Authority is a local government joint powers agency whose members include the County of Humboldt, all local cities, and the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District. The Energy Authority’s purpose is to develop and implement sustainable energy initiatives that reduce energy demand, increase energy efficiency, and advance the use of clean, efficient and renewable resources available in the region.