Beginning in 2016, the City of Concord explored the possibility of participating in a program that would provide residents with an alternative to PG&E as the provider of electricity to their homes or businesses. Community Choice Energy, also known as Community Choice Aggregation, is a local, not-for-profit governmental program that buys and may generate electrical power on behalf of its residents, businesses, and governmental entities. The agency administering the Community Choice program may also elect to administer energy efficiency programs and other greenhouse gas emission reducing activities.
Benefits for the City participating in a community choice energy program include:
- Providing customer choice
- Establishing local control
- Expanding renewable energy portfolios
- Enhancing local economic development
- Implementing the Citywide Climate Action Plan (PDF)
Community Choice programs are opt-out programs, meaning that once a local government votes to form or join a Community Choice Energy Joint Powers Authority, the constituents of that local government are automatically enrolled, and may opt-out if they wish. View information on how to opt-out.
Community Choice is only involved in the electrical generation decision-making and has no involvement with transmission and distribution. The existing electrical utility, PG&E, continues the metering and the billing for customers. The Community Choice JPA replaces the line item on the electric bill for "generation."
The City of Concord partnered with Contra Costa County and multiple other interested cities to study the following options:
- Form a Joint Powers Authority (JPA), comprised of the County and interested cities within Contra Costa County to establish a Community Choice Energy Program
- Form a new JPA comprised of interested cities within Alameda County and Contra Costa County to establish a Community Choice Energy Program-East Bay Community Energy
- Join the existing Community Choice JPA-MCE
- Take no action
On June 13, 2017, the City Council adopted Ordinance Number 17-8, authorizing the City to join MCE.