Central, South Coast Counties, Cities Look At Bringing More Renewable Electricity To Region

Sep 27, 2016

Would you like to get more of your electricity from solar power, or other renewable sources? A study is underway to see if Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties, as well as the cities in the region might want to pursue a program which might make it possible.

Angie Hacker is Division Chief for Santa Barbara County’s Energy and Sustainability Initiatives. If a plan is ultimately developed, and implemented, the local government agencies would create a non-profit public organization to buy the energy for the region, and set rates.

It would give the region the opportunity to buy more power from renewable sources. But, Hacker says you would still get service and bills from the same power company you have now. Hacker says the program is already being used in some parts of Northern California, and power rates for customers have remained competitive, or are even lower than pre-existing rates.

What’s happening at this point is a feasibility study, to look at question ranging from exactly what might be gained from using the Community Choice Program, as well as the potential drawbacks, so the three counties and 27 cities can decide if they are interested in participating.

Jen Krieger, who’s Santa Barbara County’s Energy and Sustainability Project Supervisor, says goal is to have the feasibility study done by early 2017, for consideration by Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties, as well as the 27 cities in the three counties. Then, if there are a number of jurisdictions which want to proceed, they can move ahead with formation of a non-profit agency which would source, and buy the power.