Enrollment begins for over 100,000 eligible customers

MONTEREY — Ushered in by 21 other communities throughout the Central Coast, agriculture, business and residential customers in Arroyo Grande, Del Rey Oaks, Grover Beach, Guadalupe, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, Santa Maria and Solvang and unincorporated Northern Santa Barbara County will begin receiving service from Central Coast Community Energy (3CE), formerly Monterey Bay Community Power, in January 2021.

As a community-owned electricity provider, 3CE’s focus on clean energy and local control is already providing 296,000 Central Coast customers access to competitively priced electricity, incentives and rebates from innovative energy programs such as funding for new EV charging stations, zero-emissions electric school buses and electric agricultural equipment plus regular opportunities to participate in public meetings that steer the course of 3CE’s substantial community reinvestments; $49.5 million in cost savings and $12.5 million in energy programs funding to date since launching in 2018. 

In October 2021, eligible customers within the cities of Carpinteria and Goleta and unincorporated Southern Santa Barbara County will enroll in 3CE service. 

Customers continue to have uninterrupted access to financial assistance programs including CARE, FERA, Medical Baseline and California’s Climate Credits.

“Joining 3CE provides a choice and more opportunities for customers,” said Mayor of Santa Maria and 3CE Policy Board Member, Alice Patino. “3CE’s strong financial position and recent ‘A’ credit rating solidifies to enrolling customers of the viability and success of this agency in terms of competitive rates, sourcing clean and renewable energy, and supporting local energy programs.”

For all participating communities, 3CE service represents a first-ever choice and alternative to receiving electricity service solely from investor-owned utilities (IOUs) such as PG&E or SCE. 

Following the same structure as 21 other community choice energy agencies serving more than 10 million customers throughout California, 3CE works in partnership with the respective IOU. 

In their respective service areas, PG&E or SCE continue delivering electricity, maintaining infrastructure, and sending one monthly bill that includes 3CE electric generation charges. 

3CE will now oversee electric generation; how and where electricity is generated. Both the economic and environmental benefits that 3CE provides are anchored in a commitment to not just sourcing electricity from clean and renewable sources but growing those resources in ways that contribute to grid stability and support customers and communities with the transition from fossil fuel sources to clean energy solutions that accelerate progress towards California’s ambitious climate goals. 

As California’s largest community choice energy agency by geography, 3CE has already energized significant economic and environmental progress in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties as well as the cities of Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo.

“Joining Central Coast Community Energy allows our community to receive the benefits of choice, local control, competitive rates and ways to further reduce local greenhouse gas emissions,” stated Jeff Lee, 3CE Policy Board Member from the shared seat of Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach and Pismo Beach, and Mayor of Grover Beach. “I’m proud to be a board member of 3CE, representing our community and witnessing the innovative solutions 3CE is capable of providing to the communities it serves.”

Customers will see on their electric bill a new line item for 3CE Electric Generation Charges. 3CE replaces PG&E’s generation charges, so PG&E will no longer include electric generation charges within their bundled service charges. Moving forward, PG&E will only charge for electric transmission and distribution. 

Customers will continue receiving only one electric bill from PG&E, which includes both PG&E charges for transmission and distribution and 3CE charges for electric generation. 

While 3CE’s current renewable energy mix is higher than PG&E’s, 3CE has also committed to reaching 60% clean and renewable energy by 2025 and 100% clean and renewable energy by 2030, 15 years ahead of California’s SB100 goals of 100% zero-carbon energy by 2045. 

3CE has already invested $1.14 billion in long-term renewable energy contracts. It has a request for offers out for long-duration storage for renewable energy, increasing the reliability of renewable resources in California.

“Our expansion to serve 11 new communities in Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties marks an important transition in the 3CE’s development as a community choice energy agency,” shares 3CE CEO Tom Habashi. “This expansion led to a name change, a larger board, and most importantly, a new direction and a real commitment to renewable energy. In 2021, 3CE will be serving four counties and 29 cities along the California Central Coast.”

3CE service will begin for all electricity customers in enrolling communities throughout January and each customer will receive four mailed notifications in November and December as well as February and March 2021, highlighting who 3CE is, what the change means for customers, how the enrollment process will unfold and the benefits to customers.

As part of ongoing outreach and advertising, 3CE’s Public Engagement team continues to be available to answer questions and address concerns via virtual office hours and residential and commercial webinars offered in both English and Spanish.

Enrolling residents and businesses may attend free online webinars and virtual office hours to learn more. For more information, visit https://3cenergy.org/2021-enrollment/.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles