Ventura County & Local Cities Opt to Power Themselves With 100 Percent Renewable Electricity

(Ventura County, Ca) Cities across Ventura County along with the Ventura County Board of Supervisors voted to set a default of 100 percent renewable electricity through the Clean Power Alliance in 2019.

The Clean Power Alliance is a Southern California community choice energy provider that will procure cleaner power at lower costs than investor-owned utility Southern California Edison (SCE).

Ventura County made history by becoming the first county in the country to set a renewable energy default of 100 percent. Ventura County joins the cities of Ventura, Ojai, South Pasadena, Culver City, Santa Monica, Rolling Hills Estates, and West Hollywood in setting the new standard for a future powered by renewable sources, like wind and solar, by selecting the 100 percent default with Clean Power Alliance. Other cities joined them this week, including Thousand Oaks, Hawaiian Gardens, and Oxnard.

“As leaders we need to step up to the plate and make the biggest difference we can,” shared Linda Parks, Ventura County Supervisor and Clean Power Alliance board member. “What the state legislature aims to achieve by 2045, we can do next year. Currently, not everyone can have an EV or solar panels, but low-income people who want to do something can do this. I think this is the most significant vote I have ever made in terms of being able to address climate change, and I am very honored to be able to support it.”

For the municipalities with the 100 percent default, CARE and other low-income customers will have the plan benefit at no additional cost. Local renewable energy development will also create cleaner air and more jobs in the area. Supporters agree that renewable options benefiting low-income households and those affected by affordability and environmental injustices in the current energy system must be prioritized, as communities pursue solutions to repower themselves with 100 percent clean, renewable energy.

The community choice energy agency will supply electricity to three million people across 31 communities in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Service for residential accounts will begin in February 2019 and in May 2019 for all other non-residential accounts.

The following jurisdictions have currently selected a lower tier renewable default (36 percent or 50 percent) but have until  October 31  to increase to 100 percent: unincorporated Los Angeles County, Agoura Hills, Alhambra, Arcadia, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Claremont, Carson, Downey, Hawthorne, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Moorpark, Paramount, Redondo Beach, Sierra Madre, Simi Valley, Temple City, and Whittier.

Clean Power Alliance procures electricity on behalf of customers in member jurisdictions, while SCE transmits the electricity and handles billing. Customers are automatically enrolled in their city’s default plan but can choose another plan at any time (three renewable energy tiers are available — 36 percent, 50 percent, and 100 percent). To date, the only other city in California with a 100 percent default is Portola Valley, part of Peninsula Clean Energy.

“All of us were impacted by the Thomas Fire, an unusual December fire that’s part of a larger and frightening trend of increases in fire and weather disasters linked to climate change from burning fossil fuels, ” explained Katie Davis of the Los Padres Chapter of the Sierra Club. “The good news is that the cost to move to clean power is now minimal due to the rapidly decreasing cost of renewable energy and increased energy efficiency. This decision will result in cleaner air, better health, more jobs — and will help save the planet. Thanks to Ventura for leading the way.”

“Defaults have immense power to affect social outcomes. Setting the default at 100 percent is one of the most significant, tangible and immediate ways to dramatically cut polluting emissions,” explained Michelle Ellison, Clean Power Alliance board member representing the City of Ojai. “It would take our communities much more time, effort and expense to achieve this progress otherwise. California passed legislation which targets 100 percent clean energy by 2045; the 100 percent default gives communities an opportunity to achieve that goal 25 years ahead of schedule, as early as next year when service begins. If we are serious about confronting our climate crisis on the schedule recommended in the recent UN IPCC report, and increasing our clean energy content immediately, the default is the most effective tool available.”

Currently, just 90 towns and cities across the United States are committed to being powered by 100 percent renewable energy. Additionally, the entire state of California is committed to transitioning away from fossil fuels and powering itself with 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.

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