Orange County Power Authority Increases Discount for its Basic Choice Plan and Raises Amount of Renewable Energy in Two Plans

Orange County Power Authority Increases Discount for its Basic Choice Plan and Raises Amount of Renewable Energy in Two Plans

Three to four percent discount on the Basic Choice plan generation rate will offer significant relief to all OCPA customers 

 

IRVINE, Calif. – January 25, 2024 – The Orange County Power Authority (OCPA) announced this week that its 2024 rate design includes an increased discount on its Basic Choice plan that is  3% less than Southern California Edison’s (SCE) equivalent generation rate, effective in February 2024 – the discount will increase to a maximum of 4%, to go into effect in October 2024, if specific conditions are met following SCE’s June 2024 rate adjustment. OCPA also increased the percentage of renewable energy in its Basic Choice and Smart Choice plans, as part of its commitment to create a greener grid for California. Basic Choice will increase from at least 38.5% renewable energy to 44% and Smart Choice will increase from at least 69% renewable energy to 72%.

“We are pleased to offer a discount on the Basic Choice generation rate, which will provide rate relief across all three of our plans,” said OCPA Board Chair Fred Jung. “Customers enrolled in our premium plans – Smart Choice (72% renewable energy) and 100% Renewable Choice – will also benefit from the discount being applied to the Basic Choice plan for the first 44% of renewable energy generated. OCPA is delivering on its promise to bring more clean energy at competitive rates to Orange County electricity customers.”

The increased 4% discount on the Basic Choice generation rate will go into effect in October if SCE does not significantly reduce its rates, potentially leading to a decrease in OCPA’s revenue by approximately $5.3 million or by 3% from June through December 2024.

 

OCPA 2024 Rate Design

In line with industry best practices, OCPA rates are structured to generate sufficient revenue for operating and sustaining a viable utility enterprise. Effective February 2024, OCPA’s rate design will be adjusted, as follows:

  • The Basic Choice rate discount increases from 2% to 3%, compared to SCE’s equivalent generation rates.
  • The Smart Choice rates remain at 1.0 cent per kWh over the Basic Choice.
  • The 100% Renewable Choice rates remain at 1.5 cents per kWh over Basic Choice.

SCE is increasing its rates on the delivery side, so OCPA customers will see that increase on their bills, but OCPA is decreasing rates on the generation side.

 

“I’m pleased that we have demonstrated the ability to remain in a strong financial position while also being able to provide rate relief to our customers,” said OCPA Vice Chair Susan Sonne.

 

“We’ve heard it loud and clear from our colleagues in Irvine and other communities who we’ve approached about joining OCPA – being able to offer lower rates is very important for their consideration of joining us,” said OCPA Board Member Kathleen Treseder.

 

“I’m thrilled to know we’re doing all we can to reduce rates and provide relief to customers. I look forward to reporting back to the community about this great news,” said OCPA Board Member Tammy Kim.

The 2024 rate design is projected to generate sufficient revenues to cover OCPA’s expected annual power supply, operating costs, debt service costs, maintain financial obligations per lender agreements, and contribute to its Rate Stabilization Reserve fund (Reserve).

“We have been very consistent in our approach both with current and future practices to ensure we are targeting the investment grade rating which will benefit OCPA and our customers in the long term,” said Jung.

OCPA Product Offerings

OCPA’s 2024 product offerings are:

  • Basic Choice – 44% renewable energy
  • Smart Choice – 72% renewable energy
  • 100% Renewable Choice

 

OCPA will continue to increase its renewable energy procurement over time to meet or exceed state mandates, subject to resource availability and economic viability. California’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (RPS) program requires energy providers, like OCPA, to obtain a specific amount of renewable energy, incrementally increasing the minimum amount to 60% renewables by 2030.

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2030

RPS Requirements

41.30%

44.00%

46.70%

49.30%

52.00%

54.70%

57.30%

60.00%

Basic Choice (Minimum)

41.30%

44.00%

46.70%

49.30%

52.00%

54.70%

57.30%

60.00%

Smart Choice (Minimum)

70.65%

72.00%

73.35%

74.65%

76.00%

77.35%

78.65%

80.00%

100% Renewable Choice

100.00%

100.00%

100.00%

100.00%

100.00%

100.00%

100.00%

100.00%

 

 

OCPA purchases the percentage of renewable energy in customers’ selected plans to be put onto the California electrical grid. Over time the energy on the grid becomes greener and greener, so eventually the blend of renewable energy going to customers’ homes and businesses throughout California will also be greener. Community Choice Aggregation energy providers, like OCPA, are putting more renewable energy onto the grid at a faster rate than investor-owned utilities to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and create healthier, more resilient communities.

For customers who opted out of OCPA and are now looking for greener, lower-cost energy, they can contact OCPA at 1-866-262-7693 to discuss the process and timeline to re-enroll.

About Orange County Power Authority

Orange County Power Authority is a not-for-profit public agency that offers clean power at competitive rates, significantly reducing energy-related greenhouse emissions and enabling reinvestment in local energy programs through consumer choice. OCPA serves over 231,000 customers in Orange County, with approximately 845 MW in peak load. Member cities currently include Buena Park, Fullerton, Huntington Beach and Irvine. To learn more, visit www.ocpower.org.