image7.jpgGreen Electricity is coming to our neighborhood, or it could be. YOU can help make this happen.
The Sierra Club, the Contra Costa Chapter of OFA and other local organizations concerned about the environment and climate change are building public awareness and support for a CCA in our county. A Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is a system allowing cities and counties to aggregate the buying power of their residents and businesses in order to secure renewable energy supply contracts on a community-wide basis. This is an alternative to the traditional utility business model based on monopolizing the energy supply. A CCA can also choose to create more local green jobs. The grid, distribution lines, and billing system of the traditional utility transmit this energy. It requires no action on the part of the consumer.
Three Contra Costa cities have already joined a CCA, Marin Clean Energy (MCE): Richmond, El Cerrito, and San Pablo. In 2013, MCE saved San Rafael city government $30,000 and Richmond $54,000. Fifty percent was green electricity, as opposed to PG&E’s 22.5 percent. One-hundred percent green electricity is available for an additional fee of 1 cent per Kilowatt. The Contra Costa West County School system is on tract to save $66,000 this year. Big users of electricity have the biggest savings, but individual households benefit too. As does the local jobs economy.
If you live or work in Walnut Creek, you can help promote a CCA next week, on December 16th. The Walnut Creek City Council will discuss its climate action plan at its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 16, at 7 pm in the Walnut Creek City Hall, 1555 N. Broadway. Please come; you may want to speak up to 3 minutes in support of a countywide CCA. City officials and we as residents can influence the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, who has never put a CCA on their agenda. These meetings are later televised, so it’s an opportunity to educate and motivate other citizens.
In 2015 we will be rolling out an educational campaign and building support city-by-city and throughout the county urging our Board of Supervisors to institute a CCA. Last summer, after extensive community urging, the Alameda County BOS voted unanimously to authorize 1.3 million dollars for their CCA feasibility study and rollout, now in progress.
If you can come on Dec. 16, please contact Carol Weed at firstname.lastname@example.org. Suggestions for testimony can be provided. You can also come to the hallway of City Hall early at6:30 pm for more explanation & discussion. Also contact Carol if you would like more information about future CCA consciousness raising efforts in our county.