Action

Contact Senator Skinner by July 9 and ask her to oppose AB 56 as currently written. This bill passed the Assembly and is currently in the Senate Utilities, Energy and Communications Committee and she is a member of this committee.

Contact Info

  • Phone: 916-651-4009 or 510-286-1333
  • Email: senator.skinner@sen.ca.gov
    • Copy your email to the other members of the Senate Utilities, Energy and Communications Committee: senator.hueso@sen.ca.gov, senator.moorlach@sen.ca.gov, senator.bradford@sen.ca.gov, senator.chang@sen.ca.gov, senator.dodd@sen.ca.gov, senator.hertzberg@sen.ca.gov, senator.hill@sen.ca.gov, senator.mcguire@sen.ca.gov, senator.rubio@sen.ca.gov, senator.stern@sen.ca.gov, senator.stone@sen.ca.gov, senator.wiener@sen.ca.gov

Suggested Script

I am happy purchasing my electricity from a Community Choice Aggregator such as East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) [or Marin Clean Energy (MCE) if you live in Contra Costa] rather than PG&E. My electricity is both cheaper and cleaner than that offered by PG&E. I am concerned that this bill now before the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee will weaken Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) by reducing their decision making powers over procurement and increase the prices we pay for electricity in the future. Please OPPOSE AB 56.

AB 56 would enable too much central procurement of electricity. It would authorize the PUC to direct an existing agency that now focuses on energy efficiency, the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financial Authority (CAEATFA), to purchase electricity to meet renewable, clean or reliability energy goals not being met by other providers.

While there is general agreement that some kind of central backstop procurement for grid reliability is necessary for any upcoming one year period this bill would enable central procurement for longer term needs (10-12 years) which could result in much higher prices than necessary for our electricity in the future. More cooperation in planning could ensure long term reliability needs are met by existing CCAs, investor owned utilities (IOUs) and direct access providers. If CAEATFA purchases electricity too far in advance of when it is needed we will not benefit from the expected fall in renewable energy prices. This bill would reduce the flexibility needed to encourage innovation and to develop local clean energy resources.

Background

Check our previous action Demand Protection for the Environment and Electric Ratepayers during PG&E’s Bankruptcy for more information on the success and rapid growth of CCAs.

The CCAs’ right to make energy procurement decisions for their customers was specified in AB 117 in 2002. Their mandate was to provide reliable, clean and affordable energy. The ability to prioritize local clean energy resources was also specified. While there is general agreement among the environmental community and the energy providers that there is a need for a backstop provider for grid reliability going one year forward, there does not seem to be agreement about the need for this over the long term. Sufficient planning involving all stakeholders should be able to take care of long term reliability needs.