City of Atascadero Votes Unanimously to Join Central Coast Community Energy
Atascadero, CA. February 24, 2022 – The Atascadero City Council voted unanimously to move forward with joining Central Coast Community Energy (CCCE), putting Atascadero households and businesses on a course to begin receiving energy service from the community-focused public agency in January 2024. Atascadero is the final city in San Luis Obispo County to join CCCE, bringing the total number of Central Coast communities served by the agency to 34.
“It’s all about choice,” said Atascadero City Councilmember, Susan Funk. “This unanimous City Council action will allow residents and businesses in Atascadero to choose their electricity provider just like people in the cities around us. Those who want to stay with PG&E will still have that choice. But thanks to this action, customers in Atascadero will have the option to get their electricity from Central Coast Community Energy, a locally run, publicly owned utility that reinvests locally to help our communities build a cost-effective clean-energy future. And if there is a chance for our people and businesses to save money on their power bills, we want to them to have that choice.”
CCCE is one of 23 Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs), more commonly referred to as community choice energy agencies, serving more than 11 million customers in more than 200 communities across California. Through CCAs, communities can pool their electricity needs to purchase clean and renewable energy and develop local projects and programs on behalf of their residents and businesses. CCAs work in partnership with the region’s Investor-Owned Utility (IOU). CCAs assume responsibility for how and where electricity is generated, while IOUs continue delivering power, maintaining the grid, and remain responsible for billing. Because CCAs operate as public agencies, they do not have an obligation to investors or shareholders, allowing for a transparent public process, community engagement, and community reinvestment through local rate setting, projects, and programs.
CCCE began serving customers in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties under the name Monterey Bay Community Power in 2018. The cities of San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay joined CCCE in September 2018 and began receiving service in January 2020. In 2019, CCCE expanded its service area by incorporating 11 jurisdictions including the cities of Arroyo Grande, Carpinteria, Del Rey Oaks, Grover Beach, Goleta, Guadalupe, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, Santa Maria, Solvang, and the County of Santa Barbara. These jurisdictions encompass two investor-owned utility territories (PG&E and SCE). In 2021, 11 new jurisdictions were enrolled, and the agency changed its name to Central Coast Community Energy. This expansion increased CCCE’s customer base to over 500,000 residential and commercial accounts across 8,000-square miles and an estimated 5,400 GWh of annual electricity usage supporting 33 jurisdictions.
January 2024 is the earliest CCCE can begin serving Atascadero residents and businesses.
“The City of Atascadero has joined the other 33 Central Coast jurisdictions that are demonstrating local control matters when it comes to electricity service and electrification programs,” said CCCE Director of Communications and Outreach, Catherine Stedman. “Expansion to serve Atascadero will complete our service to cities within San Luis Obispo County, where customer enrollment in the cities of Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, and San Luis Obispo stands at an impressive 94%.”
CCCE will work with the City of Atascadero and community partners to notify customers of their choice and enrollment details.
“Local control is key to procuring clean energy resources and spurring economic development in our communities,” said CCCE Policy Board Chair and Salinas City Council member, Steve McShane. “By joining CCCE, Atascadero brings these opportunities to its citizens and helps bring CCCE closer to achieving its overriding goal of 100% clean and renewable power by 2030.”
As a community-owned electricity provider, CCCE’s focus on clean energy and local control provides its customers with competitively priced electricity, incentives, and rebates from innovative local energy programs, such as funding for electric vehicles (EV) and EV charging stations, zero-emissions electric school buses, electric agricultural equipment, and more. As a public agency, CCCE also provides regular opportunities to participate in public meetings and workshops that steer the course of future CCCE investments. Since 2018, the agency has dedicated $49.5 million to community reinvestment, including a 50% rate reduction totaling $22 million for May and June 2020 in response to COVID.
CCCE has committed to reaching 60% clean and renewable energy by 2025 and 100% clean and renewable energy by 2030, 15 years ahead of California’s SB100 goals of 100% zero-carbon energy by 2045. CCCE has contracted for $1.1 billion in long-term renewable energy contracts and has requested offers for long-duration storage for renewable energy to increase the reliability of renewable resources in California.
For more information about CCCE, please visit 3cenergy.org.
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.
Central Coast Community Energy