Central Coast Community Energy to Host Virtual “Flip the Switch” Press Event Marking Enrollment of 100,000 Customers In Nine Communities

Elected Officials and Community Leaders Highlight Enrollment Process, Financial and Environmental Benefits During Celebratory Media Event 

Monterey, CA. January 14, 2021 – Ushered in by 21 other communities throughout the Central Coast, agriculture, business and residential customers in Arroyo Grande, Del Rey Oaks, Grover Beach, Guadalupe, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, Santa Maria, Solvang and Unincorporated Northern Santa Barbara County begin receiving service from Central Coast Community Energy (3CE), formerly Monterey Bay Community Power, throughout the month of January 2021.

As a community-owned electricity provider, 3CE’s focus on clean energy and local control already provides 400,000 Central Coast customers access to competitively priced electricity that powers additional economic and environmental benefits. 3CE’s newest customers will soon gain access to incentives and rebates from innovative energy programs expected to launch in early 2021. Prior 3CE programs have funded important community resources such as new EV charging stations, zero-emissions electric school buses and electric agricultural equipment like tractors and forklifts.

As a public agency committed to community engagement, 3CE also provides customers with regular opportunities to participate in public meetings that steer the course of the agency’s substantial community reinvestments; $49.5 million in cost savings and $12.5 million in energy programs funding to date since launching in 2018.  In October 2021, eligible customers within the cities of Carpinteria and Goleta as well as unincorporated southern Santa Barbara County will enroll in 3CE service. Customers who rely on financial assistance programs including CARE, FERA, Medical Baseline and California’s Climate Credit will maintain uninterrupted access that requires no action.

“Joining 3CE provides a choice and more opportunities for customers,” said Mayor of Santa Maria and 3CE Policy Board Member, Alice Patino. “3CE’s strong financial position and recent “A” credit rating solidifies to enrolling customers the viability and success of this agency in terms of competitive rates, sourcing clean and renewable energy, and supporting local energy programs.”

For all participating communities, 3CE service represents a first-ever choice and alternative to receiving electricity service solely from investor-owned utilities (IOUs) such as PG&E or SCE. Following the same structure as 21 other community choice energy agencies serving more than 10 million customers throughout California, 3CE works in partnership with the respective IOU. In their respective service areas, PG&E or SCE continue delivering electricity, maintaining infrastructure, and sending one monthly bill that includes 3CE electric generation charges. 3CE will now oversee electric generation; how and where electricity is generated.

Both the economic and environmental benefits that 3CE provides are anchored in a commitment to not just sourcing electricity from clean and renewable sources but growing those resources in ways that contribute to grid stability and support customers and communities with the transition from fossil fuel sources to clean energy solutions that accelerate progress towards California’s ambitious climate goals.  As California’s largest community choice energy agency by geography, 3CE has already energized significant economic and environmental progress in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties as well as the cities of Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo.

“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,” stated Jeff Lee, Mayor of Grover Beach and 3CE Policy Board member from the shared seat of Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach and Pismo Beach. “I’m proud to be a board member of 3CE, representing our community and witnessing the innovative solutions 3CE is capable of providing to the communities it serves.”

3CE charges will first appear on electricity bills beginning in February. Customers will continue receiving only one electric bill from PG&E, which includes both PG&E charges for transmission and distribution and as well as 3CE charges for electric generation. 3CE Electric Generation Charges replace PG&E’s generation charges. Moving forward, PG&E will only charge for electric transmission and distribution. While 3CE’s current renewable energy mix is higher than PG&E’s, 3CE has gone a step further by committing to 60% clean and renewable energy by 2025 and 100% clean and renewable energy by 2030; 15 years ahead of California’s SB100 goal of 100% zero-carbon energy by 2045. 3CE has already invested $1.1 billion in long-term renewable energy contracts and has a request for offers out for long-duration storage for renewable energy, all of which improve the reliability of renewable resources in California.

“Our expansion to serve 11 new communities in Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties marks an important transition in the 3CE’s development as a community choice energy agency,” shares 3CE CEO, Tom Habashi. “This expansion led to a name change, a larger board and most importantly a new direction and a real commitment to renewable energy. In 2021 and beyond, 3CE will serve customers in four counties and 29 cities along the California Central Coast.”

3CE service will begin for all non-solar electricity customers in enrolling communities throughout January and each customer will receive the final two mailed notifications in February and March 2021, highlighting who 3CE is, what the change means for customers, how the enrollment process will unfold and what benefits customers can look forward to. Solar or Net Energy Meeting (NEM) customers will be enrolled in one of three batches occurring in April, July and October to smoothen the transition for these uniquely qualified customers. Like all enrolling customers, NEM customers will receive mailed notifications 60 and 30 days prior to enrollment as well as 60 and 30 days after. As part of an ongoing outreach and advertising effort, 3CE’s Public Engagement team continues to be available to answer questions and address concerns via virtual office hours and residential and commercial webinars offered in both English and Spanish.

Enrolling residents and businesses are encouraged to learn more and attend free online webinars and virtual office hours. All enrollment information and virtual events are available here: https://3cenergy.org/2021-enrollment/

# # #

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 agriculture, commercial and residential 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.

Central Coast Community Energy | 3CE                                 
Shelly Whitworth
Senior Energy Media Specialist
Tel: +1-831-229-0277