Community Choice Energy

What is Community Choice Energy?

Community Choice Energy (CCE) has been operating in California since 2002 following passage of Assembly Bill 117. CCE programs enable local government control over energy procurement to purchase power, set competitive rates, and collect revenue. The local utility will still maintain the electricity grid, deliver energy, and bill customers. CCEs offer automatic enrollment to businesses and residences in its jurisdiction, with the ability for the customer to opt out and continue to purchase electricity from the utility. Customers have the option of choosing increased percentages of renewable energy. CCE programs in California generally procure and resell a power mix between 50 percent and 100 percent renewable energy to their customers.

On September 25, 2018, the Irvine City Council approved initiating a feasibility study to assess the risks, challenges, and potential economic benefits for the community of implementing a CCE program in Irvine. EES Consulting, Inc. was awarded a contract to conduct the CCE feasibility study. The initial work on the feasibility study will be completed in Spring 2019. 

An update on the results of the Feasibility Study was presented to the Finance Commission on August 19, 2019. The staff report and presentation materials can be viewed on the Finance Commission Agenda website, or by viewing the items below: 

Next Steps for Community Choice Energy in Irvine

On December 10, 2019, the Irvine City Council voted unanimously to consider formation of a Community Choice Energy program in partnership with other Orange County cities. The City Council directed staff to return with preliminary JPA formation documents no later than May 12, 2020, all in preparation to submit a CCE Implementation Plan to the California Public Utilities Commission by December 31, 2020.

On January 9, 2020 a letter from Mayor Christina Shea was sent to each city in Orange County inviting their participation in discussions to review options to develop a Joint Power Authority and launch a CCE program in Orange County. Staff will provide an update to the City Council on February 11, 2020, and will indicate which cities in Orange County are interested in exploring implementation of a CCE program.

Questions on this project can be directed to Sona Coffee, the City’s Environmental Programs Administrator, at scoffee@cityofirvine.org.