Help Contra Costa County to Join East Bay Community Energy 5/2

Solar_Panels.jpgThe Contra Costa Board of Supervisors will consider participation in a community choice energy program at its Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, May 2nd. They will be considering joining East Bay Community Energy or Marin Clean Energy.

Marin Clean Energy pioneered green energy procurement, and cleared the ground for CCA’s (Community Choice Aggregation, also known as Community Choice Energy or CCE) to take off all over the state of California. East Bay Community Energy, with its strong commitment to local renewable development, environmental justice goals and community engagement, represents Community Choice Energy 2.0. Let’s green and grow Contra Costa’s economy!

Here are some talking points in support of East Bay Community Energy:

  1. Developing clean energy generation within Contra Costa should be central to our choice of CCE.  This can be a powerful way to create local long-term, high-tech and blue-collar jobs, and for greening the whole economy.
    1. MCE is not on a course to do this in Contra Costa.  Its pattern is to create energy far outside its own service area.  The majority of its energy procurement is from the Central Valley and Southern California.  Today, after being in business for seven years. MCE derives less than 3% of its total electrical supply from local generation within its service area.  It projects adding less than 5% by 2021. This puts MCE at an economic disadvantage because this makes it more vulnerable to market forces outside its control.
    2. EBCE started creating its Local Business Development Plan as soon as it was formed.  EBCE prioritizes growing and greening the economy within its service area.  Since the plan is being developed now, Contra Costa county and cities can participate in the process and help create a plan that promotes development in Contra Costa.
  2. EBCE is a better long-term investment. It has both the commitment and the capacity to maximize local clean energy development in Contra Costa County.
    1. EBCE is already the largest CCE in the state, with a larger electrical load than all of MCE’s territory in four counties.  With the addition of Contra Costa, its electric load and resulting income will be huge, giving it much more financial ability to invest in local energy generation.
    2. EBCE has the capacity to take advantage of Northern and Eastern Contra Costa County’s large acreage of unused, former industrially-zoned open spaces that are suitable for large-scale solar development.
    3. Contra Costa has more resources than any Bay Area county for generating electricity both for local usage and revenue generation. EBCE is the only CCE that prioritizes growing and greening the economy.  We think this a very promising match!  Please don’t sell Contra Costa short.
  3. Contra Costa needs a union-friendly Community Choice Energy program whose policies promote a Just Transition to a clean energy economy.
    1. That means setting policies that call for well-paying jobs, with prevailing wages and training.  It means creating pathways to the new jobs for disadvantaged and displaced workers, and requiring employer neutrality in union drives, as well as project labor agreements on power generation projects.
    2. Unions were actually at the drawing board in creating EBCE.  IBEW (electricians, SEIU (service employees) and CNA (nurses) played important roles in early program development. In contrast, MCE has a history of conflict with unions.  The Contra Costa Central Labor Council supports EBCE.
  4. Contra Costa communities should have ongoing input into CCE policies, as provided by EBCE’s Community Advisory Committee that has with a nonvoting representative on the Board of Directors.
    1. EBCE provides a path for ideas and solutions from community residents and experts through its community advisory committee.  In Contra Costa, this would bring expertise, inspiration and creativity from engaged members of the public—a free resource that shouldn’t be overlooked.
    2. The whole process of developing EBCE included dialogue with community groups and labor.  MCE has no structure for or history of community input into policy and direction.

If you can't attend the meeting, please contact your supervisor to support choosing East Bay Community Energy. You may also watch the meetings live on Contra Costa Television, Comcast Channel 27, Astound Channel 32, or AT&T UVerse Channel 99.  Meetings are streamed live online. Here is a Contra Costa County supervisorial district map.

Please join us in Martinez at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, May 2nd, to support East Bay Community Energy for unincorporated Contra Costa! Together, Alameda and Contra Costa counties can build a twenty-first century economy and usher in an era of true energy democracy.

More information:

Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors meeting agenda

East Bay Community Energy website

Marin Clean Energy website

350 Bay Area's Clean Energy Campaign webpage

East Bay Clean Power Alliance Facebook page

Local Clean Energy Alliance website

May 02, 2017 at 9am - 12pm
Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Chambers
651 Pine St
Room 107
Martinez, CA 94553
United States
Google map and directions
Amy Allen ·

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