As you learn about Community Choice you may have questions. Answers to some of the most common questions are provided for you here.
The questions are divided into four major sections: (1) Introducing Community Choice; (2) Making a Choice; (3) Relationship with Your Current Utility, PG&E or SCE; and (4) Understanding Your Rights. If you have further questions, please contact us.
Community choice aggregation was created by the California legislature in 2002 (AB 117, Migden). Community Choice provides an opportunity for local government (cities, counties or combinations of cities and counties) to purchase electricity on behalf of their residents and businesses. Community Choice is only for the purchase of electricity; the delivery, metering, billing, operation and maintenance of wires and poles remains the responsibility of your current utility, PG&E or SCE.
One of the benefits of purchasing power from the San Joaquin Valley Power Authority's Community Choice program is a savings on the generation portion of your electric bill. In addition to cost savings, the program allows citizens to become more involved in rate setting. You will have a representative from your city or county on a local governing board that will set Community Choice generation rates. Currently, your rates are set by the California Public Utilities Commission in San Francisco.
You can participate in Community Choice if your business is located within the participating cities and counties of the San Joaquin Valley Power Authority.
Participating in Community Choice is easy. Your business is automatically enrolled in the program unless you choose not to participate by opting out.
Opting out of Community Choice is simple. All eligible businesses will be mailed four opt-out notices detailing the program over a 5-month period. Two separate notices will be mailed to your billing address before the scheduled start date. The remaining two notices will be included with your first two power bills after the scheduled start date. All four notices will contain instructions for opting out of Community Choice by phone or website should you choose to do so. If you do nothing, your business will remain enrolled in the program.
The San Joaquin Valley Power Authority's Community Choice program will be phased in. Large commercial and industrial customers on E19 or E20 rates will be offered Community Choice in Phase II. Medium commercial businesses will be Phase III. Small commercial customers, businesses on ag rates, and residential accounts will be Phase IV. Check the latest timeline for the various start dates for each phase.
Traditionally, your current utility has served two roles: (1) generate or purchase your electricity; and (2) deliver it to your home or business. Your current utility will now become your electric distribution company.
The distribution, or the actual delivery of energy to your home or business, will not change. It will still be provided by your electric distribution company over the same poles and wires used today. They will operate the wires, read your meter, and issue your bill. PG&E or SCE will continue to charge you for electric delivery services as they always have. The cost for the transmission and distribution will be shown on the bill.
No. You will still receive only one bill a month from your current utility, PG&E or SCE. Your Community Choice energy cost will simply be a separate line item on your current bill.
You should still call your electric distribution company, PG&E or SCE. Regardless if you choose to participate in Community Choice, your electric distribution company will continue to maintain and repair the wires and poles near your business and restore your power after an outage.
Yes. The discount is reflected in delivery charges from your current utility, PG&E or SCE. Community Choice affects only the generation charges on your bill.
Will I still receive special rates made available to my business by my current utility, PG&E or SCE?
A few business rates may not be available if you choose to participate in Community Choice. To find out if your specific rates are available under Community Choice, please contact us.
Yes. Four notification letters will be mailed over a 5-month period to every eligible business and resident. The notification letters will explain the program, explain the price for the electricity, and contain opt-out instructions if you choose not to participate.
No. Any fees associated with Community Choice will be fully explained in the opt-out notifications that will be mailed to all eligible businesses.
Yes. Energy audits and efficiency rebates will still be available to businesses participating in Community Choice. Energy efficiency rebates and audits are funded by California ratepayers and administered by PG&E or SCE under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.
Participation in a Community Choice program will not impact the delivery of electricity. The delivery of electricity to your business will still be handled by your current utility, PG&E or SCE. These companies will continue to be regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.
Yes. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has developed the rules for community choice aggregation. The San Joaquin Valley Power Authority submitted to the CPUC an implementation plan in compliance with the laws and rules for community choice aggregation. The San Joaquin Valley Power Authority's implementation plan was certified by the State in April 2007. The CPUC will not regulate rate setting for the Community Choice program. This will be done by the San Joaquin Valley Power Authority directors.
Last updated 10-28-08
Copyright © 2006-2011 Community Choice. All Rights Reserved.