CCA NEWS & NOTES
It's been a while since you've heard from us and there's a lot of great news to report out there! In this issue:
- The April ballot initiatives in Illinois resulted in 200 more communities shifting to CCA. A whopping 80% of the residential market is now served under municipal aggregation.
- Also in IL, the anticipated drop in cost savings along with proposed changes to the State renewable portfolio standard (RPS) have the potential to create some market volatility and contract attrition. It's something we're keeping our eyes on.
- In California, the exciting news centers on Sonoma Clean Power. Their first RFP yielded 11 proposals, competitive pricing, and some very creative offerings from the marketplace.
- In CA regulatory news, issues around utility marketing plans, cost shifting and cost allocation still abound. See Greg Klatt's comprehensive report below.
- In New Jersey, steady progress is being made with the first CCA projected to yield a savings of $400,000 annually. Several more communities are gearing up for CCA contracts this Fall.
- In Massachusetts, 30+ communities seek utility commission approval with a few shifting their focus from rate savings to clean energy procurement.
- With pilot legislation afoot, Westchester County, New York may become first in the State to pursue aggregation.
- In LEAN news, we're thrilled to announce our 2nd National CCA Summit, November 11-13 in Chicago, the launch of the Illinois Energy Efficiency Project and two new Board members.
- There's exciting news afoot in New York, as Westchester County preps pilot legislation for energy aggregation.
- And, drum roll please... A warm welcome to LEAN's Inaugural Members! Please check out our diverse group on the right and give us a call if you'd like to join our national network. LEAN's goal is 100 members by the end of this year. Please join us and connect to CCA colleagues around the country!
The National CCA Regulatory Report
from Gregory Klatt, Douglass & Liddell, P.C.
This month, Greg reports on recent regulatory action in California. A detailed copy can be found here, or on LEAN's website.
Here are some of the highlights:
- LEAN protests PG&E hedging on anti-aggregation marketing plans
- Customer choice advocates appeal CPUC's failure to adopt cost allocation reforms
- CPUC approves new CCA service fees
- LEAN to intervene in second phase of PG&E's 2014 General Rate case
- MEA files brief opposing SDG&E's "Connected to the Sun" proposal
- LEAN granted Intervenor Compensation eligibility
Do you have regulatory news in your state to share? Email Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
198 More Communities Switch to Aggregation
... bringing the total number of counties, cities,and towns receiving their electricity under municipal aggregation to almost 600! Rate savings continue to be in excess of 22% which is expected to last until 2014. Many communities green their supply using RECs but there is more to do to educate municipalities about clean energy options that can be facilitated by aggregation. As an example, see below for the LEAN/CUB partnership that seeks to embed energy efficiency as a supply side resource in the next round of IL contracts. For the full list of aggregated communities in IL, check out the ICC website.
Good Energy Batches 40 Communites Under Single Contract
On April 9, 2013, the voters in the City of Danville and nearly 200 other towns and Counties in Illinois passed a referendum authorizing municipal aggregation. Most of the communities in this latest round come from central and downstate, with about 2/3rds from Ameren territory. Homefield Energy was selected as the energy supplier under a batched contract of nearly 40 towns representing 100,000 residential customers. Rates are just under 4.3 cents per kwh for a term of 22 months. Read the full story here.
1st Government Energy Aggregation Program Moves Ahead
Plumstead Township has voted to award a one-year power supply contract estimated to provide an aggregate savings to township residents of about $400,000. This is the first government energy aggregation program in New Jersey--a result of the Plumstead Community Energy Aggregation (PCEA) Program that was launched by the township in late 2012. This contract with ConEdison Solutions, beginning January 2013, is estimated to save residents about 14% as compared to the price for power charged by JCP&L. Read the full story.
Woodcliff Lake Eyes Cost Savings
The Woodcliff Lake Borough Council in Bergen County is exploring government energy aggregation in the municipality that could carry an annual savings of more than $1 million for borough residents on their electric bills. GridSmart Energy, a Boston-based energy consulting firm, presented the no-cost program to the Council on May 6. The firm currently buys power for Woodcliff Lake's municipally-owned accounts, such as street lights, public parks, and city hall. Michael Adler, GridSmart President said, "We anticipate a proliferation of municipal aggregation across New Jersey in the coming years, and hope to see initiatives for energy efficiency and distributed renewable energy development become part of this trend." Read the full story.
Sonoma Clean Power Moves Ahead; Local Votes to Come
SCP has released preliminary electricity rates for its CCA program which are extremely competitive with PG&E, while offering nearly double the renewable content compared to the investor-owned utility. SCP's residential rates are estimated to fall between 1.8% below and 1% above PG&E's 2013 rates. Commercial power rates are estimated to be from 3% below to 0.5% above. Next steps: Sonoma Clean Power will be meeting with the 8 Sonoma County cities that are eligible to participate in the CCA. Windsor is the first city to vote YES! Electricity service is anticipated to begin in January 2014. For more information please visit their website link here.
Climate Protection Campaign Leads Local Advocacy Effort
Taking the lead in advocating for local clean energy in Sonoma County, Climate Protection Campaign is working overtime to educate the public, local businesses and elected officials about the benefits of Sonoma Clean Power. CPC recently released a video featuring Lisa Jackson, former US EPA Administrator, commenting on Sonoma County's CCA. View the video on their website.
Clean Power SF Update
Kim Malcolm, former Administrative Law Judge at the CA Public Utilities Commission and Executive Director of the Utility Consumers Action Network, was named Director of SF-PUC's CleanPowerSF in April 2013.
CleanPowerSF has updated its strategies for launch by proposing a lower retail rate and commitment for renewable project development in the first year of the program. Funds to support local energy development will be enabled through low cost "Bucket 3" renewable energy credits. The procurement portfolio will remain 100% renewable. Before customer notifications can begin, CleanPowerSF's retail rate must be approved by the SF Public Utilities Commission, which recently delayed a vote on the matter in order to schedule a joint meeting with the San Francisco LAFCO, the agency that oversees the City's CCA program.
The well funded IBEW (electrical workers union) continues to oppose CleanPowerSF and has mounted an anti-CCA marketing marketing campaign eerily similar to the 2010 campaign sponsored by PG&E in Marin County. The San Francisco Labor Council adopted a resolution on May 13, 2013 supporting Clean Power SF if it takes certain steps to support union labor and prevailing wage contracts. Stay tuned.
Monterey Bay Region Commits to Feasibility Study
The greater Monterey Bay region, consisting of 21 governments in 3 counties, has committed to completion of a technical/rate study and secured the Santa Cruz Community Foundation as its fiscal sponsor. Full funding for the study and community outreach is expected by the end of this summer. A planning and development advisory committee has been formed to oversee CCA formation, and two technical working groups have been formed providing a solid foundational structure. Monterey Bay's CCA website launched on May 15 in concurrence with the Monterey Regional Climate Action meeting. Support their effort and learn more about their program here.
MEA Forms Local Renewable Energy Fund
California's first CCA, the Marin Energy Authority is creating a fund to develop its own renewable energy projects within its jurisdictional boundaries, including all of Marin County and the city of Richmond. The fund will be fed by half of the revenue generated annually by the Authority's "Deep Green" 100% renewable energy product. The stated goal is to create 14 megawatts of new solar capacity within its service territory by 2019. Read more
Green Cities California Explores CCA
LEAN director Shawn Marshall delivered a presentation about CCA at Green Cities California's (GCC) bi-annual Urban Sustainability Workshop in May. GCC is a coalition of 13 of California's largest and most environmentally progressive cities and counties whose mission is to accelerate the adoption of sustainability practices through collaborative action. CCA is up and running in two of GCC's 13 member jurisdictions (Marin County and City of Richmond), and San Francisco's Board of Supervisors has approved, but not implemented, a CCA program. GCC's director Carol Misseldine said, "GCC members clearly understand that one of the most highly leveraged actions they can take to meet their GHG reduction goals is to develop and implement CCA in their community." Misseldine and Marshall are working together to ensure that all GCC members interested in aggregation adopt a Resolution of Interest and receive the assistance they need to move forward. For more information about Green Cities, please visit www.greencitiescalifornia.org.
Several Aggregations Pending Approval at DPU
In addition to new aggregations in Massachusetts (Ashland, Lunenburg, Lanesboro and Lancaster), several other aggregations are currently pending approval at the Department of Public Utilities. They are: Ashby, Lowell and about 30 towns in the western part of the state. Several other communities have begun the process but have not yet submitted to the DPU. Brian Murphy, President of Colonial Power Group, adds, "Towns are beginning to see that aggregation offers a way to save on cost while embracing the Commonwealth's other energy goals--particularly renewables."
Greenfield and Natick Move Toward Renewables
Peregrine Energy Group and Bay State Consultants are working together in the cities of Greenfield and Natick to shift the focus of their aggregation programs from cost-centric to clean-centric. In many cases, communities have focused on the cost savings made possible through aggregation. But in Massachusetts, the savings per household is modest-- hovering around $20-$30/year. So the cities decided to take advantage of CCA's ability to advance their local environmental goals. Peregine CEO Paul Gromer explains, "We're reshaping aggregation as a tool for communities to take a big step toward sustainability goals without tapping into already stretched municipal and household budgets." Full story here.
NY's Westchester County to Run Pilot CCA Bill
Led by the North Westchester Energy Action Consortium and its Southern counterpart, CCA pilot legislation is in the works for Westchester County. Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, Chair of the Assembly Energy Committee, is sponsoring the Bill in the current legislative session, slated to adjourn this month. NWEAC Program Chair, Mike Gordon, says the Bill is designed to ensure consumer rate savings and protection while offering enough flexibility to enable funding for local energy efficiency programs. The Bill is being run as a pilot for Westchester County; once proven there, it can be amended to cover the whole State. LEAN Energy is supporting Westchester's efforts and recently participated in a "how to" webinar for elected officials and staff. For more information please contact Mike Gordon at Joule Assets.
LEAN WELCOMES INAUGURAL MEMBERS
We'd like to extend a hearty handshake and an enthusiastic WELCOME to our new members. Your support is critical to our success, and to the success of CCA everywhere.
You can join through our website sign-up form, or contact LEAN's membership director, Carol DiBenedetto, at 415-888-8007.
Please check out our members' websites to learn about the good work each of them is doing.
(CCAs, public agencies and NGOs)
Blackstone Ranch Institute
Cape Light Compact
Center for Regenerative Community Solutions / NJ PACE LLC
Center for Resource Solutions/Green-E
Citizens Utility Board of Illinois
Climate Protection Campaign
Cooling America through Local Leadership
Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance
Green Cities California
IRES Network - Integrated Resources, Sustainable Communities
Local Clean Energy Alliance
Marin Energy Authority
NJ Community Clean Energy Aggregation
Perfect Power Institute
San Diego Energy District Foundation
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission / Clean Power SF
SLO Clean Energy (San Luis Obispo)
Sonoma County Water Agency / Sonoma Clean Power Authority
South San Joaquin Irrigation District
(CCA vendors, private sector companies)
Braun Blaising McLaughlin & Smith, P.C.
Constellation / Exelon
Direct Energy Inc.
Douglass & Liddell, PC
Energy Control Inc.
Green Ideals Group
Illinois CCA Network (ICCAN)
Joule Assets, Inc.
Noble Americas Energy Solutions
Peregrine Power Group
River City Bank
Shell Energy North America
3 Degrees Inc.
LEAN RECEIVES JOYCE FOUNDATION GRANT
LEAN Energy US, in partnership with the Citizen's Utility Board of IL, is pleased to announce the award of a one-year grant from the Joyce Foundation to examine how energy efficiency (EE) and demand response(DR) can best be integrated into the next round of IL aggregation contracts. As part of the project, at least 3 pilot communities will be selected to help vet and implement innovative EE/DR programs that leverage existing utility offerings. If you have questions, ideas or interest in what we're up to, please contact us. Click here to read the executive summary.
2 NEW DIRECTORS
JOIN LEAN'S BOARD
We are delighted to announce that Maggie Downey of Cape Light Compact and Terry Gorton of Wirsol USA have joined our Board.
Ms. Downey is the Administrator for the Cape Light Compact, the first municipal aggregator in Massachusetts.
She has managed and directed its electric power supply aggregation program and energy efficiency systems since its inception in 1997. She has worked on energy issues on behalf of rate payers for Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard for more than 16 years.
Terry Gorton is a principal at Wirsol Solar California, a division of Wirsol International headquartered in Germany.
The firm's mission is to provide large and small scale renewable energy systems to a global market. Ms. Gorton is a partner in The California Group and her former roles include California Assistant Resources Secretary and chair of the State Board of Forestry and Natural Resources under Governor Wilson. Ms. Gorton has received numerous national leadership awards, is a member of the California Bar Association, and was voted "a woman to watch" by San Diego Magazine.
The addition of Maggie and Terry bring LEAN's Board to 6 members. Others are:
- John Kelly, Executive Director, Perfect Power Institute (Board Chair)
- Jeffrey Shields, General Manager, South San Joaquin Irrigation District and Board member, The Utility Reform Network (Treasurer)
- Dan Douglass, Esq. Principal, Doulass & Liddell, PC
- Shawn Marshall, Founder and Director, LEAN Energy US (Secretary)
One of the benefits of membership is participation on our national Board and ad-hoc advisory committees. We will be recruiting for additional Board members and the 2013 Summit Planning Committee soon. Please contact Shawn Marshall at (415) 888-8007 if you are interested in serving.