East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) Pushes for Greener Energy
Direct Line Tele Response (a Berkeley 24 hour live answering service company since 1979) supports this new endeavor and push for greener energy despite the current political landscape in Washington. Berkeley has always been at the forefront of pushing for more renewable energy sources and was the first in the nation to offer solar financing to consumers through a program called FIRST, which was a pre-courser to PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy). This allowed consumers to finance their solar project through their property taxes therefore allowing many more to qualify as personal credit was not required.As of January 30, 2017, the East Bay Community Energy was officially formed. The EBCE is a joint effort by most of the cities within Alameda County and is governed by a board comprised of elected officials in each city represented. Our very own Berkeley Major, Jesse Arreguin is representing Berkeley. The EBCE is part of a relatively new movement called CCA or Community Choice Aggregation that allows local governments to pool their electricity which will allow for lower prices to residents and businesses and allow for higher renewable energy sources. We will no longer have to buy our power from PG&E, but PG&E will still maintain transmission and end billing to customers.
Although the EBCE has many more hurdles to go through before the first customers are on the program, you should be seeing something regarding this in the mail by early next year if you are in Alameda County. This will be the largest CCA in California and many vendors are lining up to help with the process.
Currently, the EBCE is searching for a CEO which will help lead the team to startup in early 2018. Residents and businesses will automatically be opted-in to the program and may opt-out or opt-up to a higher level of renewable energy for a small premium.
What sets the EBCE apart from all the other CCA’s is that they are truly using “community” as a part of their name by forming a community advisory committee. These community members will help guide the rest of the board and will have a seat as well.
If you are interested in learning more about the EBCE, check out their website which posts updated information including dates when their public meetings will be held. http://www.ebce.org/