New Times San Luis Obispo
The expansion happened fast. In the span of a year, 10 Central Coast cities and Santa Barbara County all had voted, one after the other, to join as members of Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP), a growing Community Choice Energy (CCE) utility that currently serves Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito counties.
It started with San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay in late 2018. Then Paso Robles and Grover Beach in spring 2019. By the end of August, Santa Maria, Pismo Beach, Arroyo Grande, Guadalupe, Goleta, Carpentaria, and unincorporated Santa Barbara County had all jumped on board with MBCP—capping a near region-wide transition to the electricity provider.
“It just kind of took off,” said J.R. Killigrew, director of communications for MBCP. “In six months, we more or less have unified the Central Coast.”
Each city came at MBCP from a different angle—but all that voted to join noted the CCE’s lower rates and carbon-free energy portfolio compared to PG&E.
“I think it’s a safe bet,” said Mike Cordero, a Santa Maria City Council member. “The cost of power goes down, and we won’t be using any fossil fuel energy.”