CCE can be an economic engine for SLO County post Diablo-Canyon
On Tuesday, January 23, the SLO County BOS will decide their next actions related to Community Choice Energy (CCE). SLO City’s leadership has already recognized this important opportunity and have unanimously directed staff to begin implementation of a CCE program. CCE represents a proactive, practical, and frankly, obvious action that the SLO County BOS can take to diversify our local economy in light on the closure of Diablo Canyon. The City of SLO has already chosen to lead in this effort and all the BOS needs to do now is choose to take their seat at the table.
As a relevant example, Monterey Bay Community Power is launching in early 2018 and projects 1st year net revenues of $38 million. Opportunities for communities to generate that magnitude of new reoccurring non-tax revenue just do not exist, except with CCE. Monterey Bay Community Power, is made up of neighboring communities to our north in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties. Communities from Salinas to Santa Cruz are full of supportive political leaders, residents, and business owners from across the political spectrum.
At the same time that the CPUC is closing California’s last nuclear power plant, a massive “clean disruption” is taking place in energy markets. This clean disruption is being caused by the convergence of market disrupting technologies, including battery storage, solar, and electric vehicles that over the next 10 to 15 years will completely transform energy and transportation.
To put the opportunity of the clean disruption in perspective for SLO County, based on publicly available data, SLO County residents spend over $600 million per year on fuel for our vehicles and electricity and natural gas for our homes and business. This spending is on the scale of the annual economic output of Diablo Canyon and currently, most of the economic benefits leave our local economy. Since our homes, businesses, and electric vehicles will be powered predominately by electricity, a CCE, which buys and sells electricity and then decides how to reinvest the energy revenues, can act as an economic engine –driving innovation, creating good paying local jobs, and maximizing the economic and community benefits we experience.
CCE offers choice for consumers, creates competition for the monopoly utilities, and enables local control of our energy and economic future. Localizing control of energy purchasing decisions and energy-related revenue reinvestment decisions via CCE is one of the single most impactful actions our County BOS can take in this moment.
The bottom line is that CCE can be an economic engine for SLO County. On January 23, the SLO County BOS will choose for you if this strategic opportunity to help our county thrive post-Diablo Canyon will be embraced.