Pomona Choice Energy, created by the City of Pomona specifically for residents and local businesses, offers the community a choice where there wasn’t one before. The program, also known as a community choice energy program, is an alternative to Southern California Edison (SCE), the local private utility and previously the only power provider in the City.
Today, Pomona Choice Energy is one of 24 community choice energy (CCE) programs in California. So, what are CCEs? CCEs are locally managed, not-for-profit public agencies that provide communities with options when it comes to energy procurement. Rather than securing power through the traditional, investor-owned utility supply system, CCEs purchase energy for their communities directly from energy suppliers.
“CCEs introduce competition and consumer choice into the electricity market,” said Pomona Mayor Tim Sandoval. “The result is resource diversification and a system that encourages the adoption of renewable energy. As nonprofits, CCEs are not motivated by shareholder returns; instead, CCEs are focused on providing innovative clean energy options at competitive prices and returning revenues to the community through energy-related programs and services.”
One of the greatest benefits of the CCE structure is that revenues are made available for reinvestment in local communities instead of being turned into profits for private utilities. Once CCE revenues are available, they are reinvested into the local community through innovative energy programs designed to address community needs. Beyond financial perks, CCEs also directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on fossil fuels. In fact, over 940,000 metric tons of GHG emissions are avoided annually, thanks to CCEs.
The first California CCE was launched in 2010 and the industry has continued to proliferate since. As of Spring 2021, there are 24 operational CCEs in California. These CCEs are in more than 200 cities and counties across the state, serving more than 11 million people. The CCE industry provides over 3,800 megawatts of renewable energy capacity and more than 400 megawatt-hours of new energy storage. CCEs currently employ thousands of people, supporting the California job market and family livelihoods. “Given the range of financial and environmental benefits CCEs provide, it is not surprising that they have become more popular in recent years,” continued Mayor Sandoval. “As electricity prices continue to rise in California, the CCE sector continues to be ripe for expansion.”