On August 30, a bill that would have upended the ability of California communities to choose their electrical power sources was defeated in the state senate. AB 2145 was rejected thanks in large part to the outpour of grassroots opposition by a coalition of local governments, elected officials, and nonprofits like the Sustainable Economies Law Center, who pegged the bill as a power grab by utility companies.
AB 2145 proposed new rules that would have made it essentially impossible for community choice energy rates to compete with utility company rates. Read the official language of the defeated bill here. Indeed, if successful, the will would have reversed the positive impact of the 2002 Community Choice Aggregation law (AB 117), which has since enabled Marin and Sonoma to create successful CCA programs, and also led dozens of other cities and counties to investigate CCA programs in their locales. The defeat of AB 2145 will not only protect the ability of communities to opt for clean, renewable sources of electricity, it will also enable locales to leverage joint customer buying power and energy market competition to access even lower rates for residents.
SELC played its part in opposing the bill because we believe that cities should have the opportunity to provide residents with affordable, clean energy sourced from projects that are located close to load. We also see community choice as an important piece of a future filled with community-owned renewable energy projects that promote local wealth, resilience, and a healthy environment. Read more about how SELC is advocating for community-owned renewable energy here.
We join our allies across the state in celebrating this important win for energy democracy.