MBCP Board Approves Electric Rate Deferral for All Customers in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
$22 Million in Deferred Charges Provides Immediate Financial Relief Throughout MBCP Service Area
April 13, 2020 Monterey, CA – MBCP today announced its plan to defer electric generation charges by 50% for the months of May and June, providing immediate financial relief to every MBCP customer as a swift response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Total customer bill deferment during May and June is estimated at $22.4 Million, the most significant response to date by a California Community Choice Energy agency. In addition to MBCP’s financial response, MBCP has suspended its non-payment policy until further notice and will continue to support customers through its call center and share resources through its newsletter and social media platforms.
“MBCP is providing significant financial relief through a deferred payment for the communities we serve.” explained MBCP CEO, Tom Habashi. “Providing this temporary but sweeping rate reduction will ease the burden on residents and businesses at a time when they need it the most.”
MBCP moved quickly to bring this deferred payment rate change to customers by May 1st after receiving board support from its Operations Board on April 8, 2020 and holding a special Policy Board meeting on April 13, 2020, when the staff recommendation was approved with unanimous support. At both meetings, MBCP shared the four key contributing factors as providing immediate financial assistance to MBCP communities and all customers, boost the local economy while avoiding any disparate impacts on various customer classes and be logistically simple to implement.
“MBCP continues to prove itself as a nimble, community-centric public agency devoted to identifying ways it can support its customers and be an important community resource.” Shared MBCP’s Policy Board Chair, Bruce McPherson of Santa Cruz County. “This action was born from staff ingenuity and approved by MBCP’s two Boards within two weeks, showing the collaborative dedication of this agency and its boards to the communities we serve.”
Details of the rate deferment timeline: Beginning May 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020, MBCP will defer 50% of its electric generation charges. Overall, MBCP residential customers will see close to $6.44 million in deferred charges, commercial customers will experience $10.95 in cumulative deferred charges and agriculture customers, collectively, will see approximately $5.03 million of deferred charges.
“MBCP’s ability to be responsive in a time of uncertainty is at the core of why MBCP and CCAs are so critical to the state of California. Our transparent and participatory decision-making process allows us to address real issues in real time and provide immediate solutions. MBCP’s response to COVID-19 will be a hallmark opportunity to assist all of our valued customers.” Shared MBCP’s Operations Board Chairman, Rene Mendez.
To recover part of the deferred generation charges, MBCP will decrease its Energy Programs funding from 4% to 3% of revenue through 2021. To continue delivering cost-savings to customers while recouping a portion of the $22 million rate reduction cost, MBCP will adjust its electric generation rates to 2% below PG&E’s for the months of July through December 2020.
MBCP is committed to supporting customers during this public health crisis.
About: Monterey Bay Community Power is a Community Choice Energy agency established by local communities to source carbon-free electricity for Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties in addition to San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay as well as most of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties starting in 2021. PG&E and SCE continue their traditional role delivering power as well as maintaining electric infrastructure and billing. As a locally controlled public agency, MBCP supports regional economic vitality by sourcing cleaner energy at a lower cost and advancing local energy programs to accelerate electrification, fuel-switching and resiliency. For more information, visit www.mbcp.org
Monterey Bay Community Power Authority
Senior Energy Media Specialist