Some important changes are taking place in the economics of the energy industry.
Electricity rates keep going up. This is happening across the board, but there’s good reason to take a close look at the downstream effect on businesses: Rising electricity rates drive up consumer costs and cause businesses to pick up and move elsewhere. We certainly see that dynamic here in San Diego, where commercial electricity rates are among the highest in the country.
But there’s an alternative model under consideration here that can help keep commercial electricity rates down. The basic idea behind Community Choice Aggregation is that a local government agency, staffed with energy industry professionals, buys power for residents and businesses. Meanwhile, the utility continues to run the power lines and charge customers for the service. Participation is optional, and the utility continues to buy power for those who prefer to stick with their existing plans.
There are currently two of these alternative energy providers in Northern California: Marin Clean Energy (which, full disclosure, is a client of mine) and Sonoma Clean Power. Notably, these programs champion renewable energy and provide greater renewable content than Pacific Gas and Electric, the utility in that area.
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