A Proposed Program May Affect Electric Bills

If you live in the city of Chico or in unincorporated ares of Butte County - a change may be coming regarding the way you receive your electricity.

Posted: Sep 10, 2018 5:45 PM
Updated: Sep 11, 2018 2:21 PM

CHICO, Calif. - If you live in the city of Chico or in unincorporated ares of Butte County, a change may be coming regarding the way you receive your electricity.

It's a change that proponents say could ultimately lower your electric bill.

It's called Community Choice Cggregation (CCA). CCA's purchase power on the wholesale energy market. They then offer choices for local users, in order to meet their electricity needs.

The city of Chico and Butte County partnered-up in starting the whole CCA process a couple of years ago when local businesses reached out.

"The reason they asked the county to look into this, frankly because they wanted to have lower energy rates, so ultimately it could result in lower rates for businesses and residents which could be a great economic development tool, or just a tool for businesses to expand their businesses," said Brian Ring, Butte County assistant chief administrator officer.

Erik Gustafson, director of public works operations and maintenance, said they're only in the preliminary stages of researching this program.

"At this point we're really looking at the feasibility and the financial aspects of it, and we're kind of really reaching out to the community to see what the community's thoughts are on it," Gustafson said.

The feasibility study shows that the CCA could provide an initial percent savings to customers.

It would also give customers options on what kind of plan they want to pay for.

"There's also one that's 75 percent clean energy so if a resident wished to pay more for cleaner energy they can do that, but then again they have that choice," Ring said.

A CCA still depends on services from PG&E, unlike Redding's electric utility, which is completely disconnected from the utility giant.

"We still partner and collaborate closely with PG&E, PG&E still maintains the lines, the distribution network, billing," Ring said. "Whereas if you have your own local municipal energy, they do everything."

PG&E will not respond to the news media specifically regarding proposed CCA's.

But in a statement to Action News Now said, in part:

"We respect the energy choices that are available to our customers, and will continue to cooperate with local governments as they consider pursuing a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Program."

Community members are invited to attend any of the four upcoming meetings to learn more about a potential CCA, and provide feedback.

For more information, CLICK HERE

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