Benefits of a Community Choice Program

Our CCE program will give Humboldt County residents and businesses increased control over our sources of electricity and reduce electricity rates. Every customer will have the option to participate in our baseline program, opt up to 100% renewables, or opt out of the program entirely.  

Local Control: A CCE program allows Humboldt County to pursue our own priorities, such as local generation and programs to support economic development, and provides local control of rate-setting. Unlike IOUs, local governments are accountable to their citizens through locally elected officials whose tenures depend on serving the public good and supporting the interests of their communities. When compared with an IOU, the decision making process of a local authority will be more transparent and accessible to the public, and can better reflect the interests and desires of the community. Conversely, IOUs are required to serve the interests of their investors and are subject the regulatory constraints imposed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

Rates: A key motivating factor for the 1,000+ CCEs in operation nationwidehas been the opportunity to reduce rates for electricity customers; like municipal utilities, CCEs have been able to provide rates sometime as much as 20-30% lower than IOUs. The established California CCEs have focused on prioritizing environmental performance, but have still managed to achieve rates 2-7% below the incumbent IOU while providing significantly higher percentages of renewable energy.

Choice: When a City or County chooses to offer a CCE program to its community, each individual household and business still has the option to opt out of the program and continue to have their generation services provided by the existing IOU. State law requires that customers receive multiple notices of CCE program launch to ensure they are aware of their right to opt out, and customers can also opt out after the launch anytime in the future. While no customer is forced to participate, opt-out rates are typically very low, which is not surprising when customers’ utility costs are lowered by participating in the CCE .