On Dec. 5, Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) added 11 new jurisdictions, including Carpinteria, Goleta, Santa Maria, Solvang and the county of Santa Barbara, to its aggregate of 21 existing member jurisdictions. Carpinteria is now part of the state of California’s largest community choice aggregate (CCA), geographically speaking. CCAs are also known as community choice energy agency (CCE).
MBCP is a CCE agency established by local communities to source carbon-free electricity for Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties and now portions of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. PG&E continues its traditional role delivering power, maintaining electric infrastructure and billing. As a locally controlled not-for-profit, MBCP is not taxpayer funded and supports regional economic vitality by providing cleaner energy at a lower cost, supporting low-income rate payers, and funding local energy programs.
With the addition of the new jurisdictions, MBCP will now reach 430,000 customers, spanning 8,000 square miles. Through its carbon-neutral power mix, MBCP estimates reducing carbon emissions an extra 240,000 metric tons in 2021, equal to removing over 50,000 cars off the road for one year.
“This means Santa Barbara County is now part of a large five county effort to reduce carbon pollution and fight climate change,” said First District County Supervisor Das Williams, who will now serve on the MBCP Policy Board. “Community choice aggregation allows a public alternative to investor owned utilities and operates by aggregating the buying power of individual customers to secure large energy generation contracts and allows consumers greater control over the source of their energy that individuals would not be able to do on their own.” Williams was also elected to represent Santa Barbara County on the MBCP Executive Board.
“The remarkable growth of MBCP and community choice energy along the Central Coast affirms our region’s long-standing commitments to environmental stewardship and economic stimulation,” said Tom Habashi, CEO of MBCP. “Unifying the Central Coast in these terms not only benefits our own region, it supports the growth of California’s CCE community and the potential to influence important energy-policy decisions being made in Sacramento.”
Customers within the newly approved jurisdictions are set to begin receiving electric generation service from MBCP in early 2021, gaining access to MBCP’s local energy programs that reduce local greenhouse gas emissions and help solve energy resiliency issues.