Our Commitment to Clean Energy
The Central Coast’s Trusted Energy Resource
Look what we've achieved so far.
Cost savings since 2018
Invested in renewable energy since 2018
Allocated to local energy programs since 2018
EV charging station funds secured through CALeVIP and 3CE
As a major agricultural engine in the Monterey Bay, Dole is constantly exploring opportunities to help reduce costs and create better end products for our customers. Central Coast Community Energy delivered on its promise for clean and renewable electricity and its customer savings which Dole greatly benefited at over $50,000 in bill savings this year.”
I had been thinking about signing up for 3Cprime after learning about it volunteering for the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I'm so happy to be supporting 100% renewable energy!
If you have questions, you’re not alone.
You will continue to receive one bill from your utility provider. There will be a new 3CE page for electricity generation charges within this bill. The cost of electricity generation will be lower with 3CE, who also accounts for your utility provider’s Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) and their franchise fee. The net result is that electric generation costs will be lower than your utility provider’s. You will see 3CE’s generation charge as a new line item that replaces your utility provider’s electric generation charges.
Resources such as wind, solar and geothermal which do not produce greenhouse gases and naturally regenerate are considered clean and renewable. 3CE currently supports clean energy from sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, large-hydro, and biomass.
Yes. In addition to providing clean energy at a lower cost, 3CE customers are able to take advantage of the same discounts offered by the investor-owned utility and the State of California (CARE, FERA, LIHEAP, Medical Baseline), as well as your utility provider’s employee and retiree discounts. 3CE strives to make electric generation charges affordable to all, regardless of income. There is no need to reapply with Central Coast Community Energy. New CARE, FERA and Medical Baseline enrollments or renewals will still be done through your utility provider’s customer service center or website.
Central Coast Community Energy (3CE) is a locally-controlled public agency supplying clean and renewable electricity for residents and businesses in Monterey, San Benito, parts of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz Counties. 3CE is based on a local energy model called community choice energy that partners with the local utility (in our case PG&E or SCE) which continues to provide consolidated billing, electricity transmission and distribution, customer service and grid maintenance services. PG&E or SCE accounts within 3CE’s service area will be enrolled in 3CE’s default electric program, 3Cchoice unless they choose to opt-up to 3Cprime, 100% renewable energy or they opt-out and return to PG&E or SCE bundled service. 3CE provides a customer bill savings on electric generation rates, inclusive of any exit fees, when compared to your utility provider.
3CE offers three key benefits: reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, lower cost to customers and investment in our local community. 3CE’s default power portfolio, 3Cchoice, is sourced from clean and renewable sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal generation. 3CE will not procure power from fossil-based sources. 3CE’s electric generation rates will cost less than your utility provider’s, inclusive of costs related to your utility provider’s exit fees.
The counties of Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara approved participation in 3CE, as well as the cities of Arroyo Grande, Buellton, Capitola, Carmel, Carpinteria, Goleta, Gonzales, Greenfield, Grover Beach, Guadalupe, Hollister, Marina, Monterey, Morro Bay Pacific Grove, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, Salinas, San Juan Bautista, San Luis Obispo, Sand City Santa Cruz, Santa Maria, Scotts Valley, Seaside, Soledad, Solvang and Watsonville
Central Coast Community Energy began serving customers within Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties in Spring 2018 with the exception of King City and Del Rey Oaks. Non-residential (commercial, industrial, agriculture and government) customers were enrolled in March 2018 and residential customers were enrolled in July 2018. The Cities of Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo enrolled in service in January 2020.
The January 2021 enrollment includes the Cities of Arroyo Grande, Del Rey Oaks, Grover Beach, Guadalupe, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, Santa Maria and Solvang and Unincorporated Santa Barbara County (PG&E Service Territory)
The October 2021 enrollment includes the Cities of Carpinteria, Goleta, Grover Beach, and Unincorporated Santa Barbara County (SCE Service Territory)
The Early 2022 enrollment includes the City of Buellton.
New customers receive a total of four enrollment notices via U.S. Mail, two in the 60-day period prior to their enrollment date, and two in the 60 days following.
In response to the effects of energy deregulation in 1997 and the energy crisis that followed in 2000-2001, Assembly Bill 117 was passed by the CA Legislature in 2002 to establish Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) also known as Community Choice Energy (CCE). CCE is a new way for California communities to provide local residents and businesses with a choice of electric providers and sources of electricity. The CCE model enables communities to purchase their own electricity and divert excess revenues to local community investment, rather than to shareholders of investor-owned utilities. There are currently 21 operational CCEs throughout the state, with many more communities forming their programs. For more information, please visit cal-cca.org
3CE procures energy from clean and renewable sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass. The projects that produce our electricity are located in California, and along the western grid. The exact proportion of each varies with time, based on demand and availability. 3CE has short and long-term contracts with a variety of power suppliers to meet the energy needs of our community; however, most of 3CE’s long-term power contracts will be from CA sources. Central Coast Community Energy provides detailed information about it’s power supply resources in its annual Power Source Disclosure statement. CCEs negotiate the purchase of electricity on the open market by entering into power purchase agreements with energy providers. All generated energy is identified by certificates guaranteeing the type of energy and location of production. CCEs also enter into a contract with PG&E to transmit the electricity that the CCE buys over PG&E’s transmission lines. Learn more here.
No. Central Coast Community Energy works in partnership with your utility provider. 3CE assumes responsibility for electric power procurement and purchases clean and renewable electricity for homes and businesses. However, your utility provider continues to provide customer billing, receives payments, performs power line maintenance and resolves outages.
The 3CE Project Development Advisory Committee was formed in 2013 to study the feasibility of a community choice energy model for Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito counties. In 2017, City Councils and Boards of Supervisors in the tri-county region voted to participate, and service began in 2018 under the original name, Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP).
In response to the effects of energy deregulation in 1997 and the energy crisis that followed in 2000-2001, Assembly Bill 117 was passed by the CA Legislature in 2002 to establish Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) also known as Community Choice Energy (CCE). CCEs provide savings to the communities they serve through utility-scale power purchasing that would not be possible if we enrolled one account at a time. CCEs are currently authorized in California, Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.
AB 117 was passed to allow local governments to procure electricity on behalf of their residents, businesses, and municipal accounts from an alternative supplier while still receiving transmission and distribution service from their existing utility provider. CCEs are an attractive option for communities that want more local control over their electricity sources, more green power than is offered by the default utility, and lower electricity prices. Participation in CCE is voluntary. While AB 117 requires 3CE to be the primary electricity provider for all customers within our service area, customers are able to return to the investor-owned utility’s (PG&E/SCE) bundled electric service at any time.
Yes. CARE, FERA, HEAP and Medical Baseline is available to Central Coast Community Energy customers, as well as PG&E or SCE customers, and provides the same discount regardless of enrollment with Central Coast Community Energy or your utility provider. Customers enrolled in Central Coast Community Energy continue to receive their CARE, FERA, HEAP and Medical Baseline discount within their PG&E or SCE delivery charges; there is no need to reapply with Central Coast Community Energy. New CARE, FERA and Medical Baseline enrollments or renewals must still be done through PG&E’s or SCE’s customer service center or website.
Yes, 3CE customers remain eligible for PG&E or SCE rebate programs.
Companies that generate electricity are required by state law to identify their resources and file a detailed report on the content of their generated power. 3CE is also required to submit this information to state regulators to ensure compliance with the law. These reporting requirements allow us to be sure that our power procurement strategy supports clean and renewable energy.
The cost of electricity generation will be lower to account for PG&E or SCE exit fees (aka Power Charge Indifference Adjustment) associated with the change in service. The net result is that electric generation costs will match your utility provider. You will see 3CE’s generation charge as a new line item that replaces the same charge from your utility provider, as well as the PCIA fee which is absorbed in 3CE’s lower generation cost.
Your utility provider charges Central Coast Community Energy customers a Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) and a Franchise Fee Surcharge. Both of these charges are factored into 3CE’s rate setting process so that in total, customers still pay the same as they would under PG&E’s or SCE’s generation rates without the fees – zero net increase. To learn more about PCIA please visit our Regulatory/Legislative webpage.
3Cchoice is Central Coast Community Energy’s standard electricity offering, available as the primary default to all customers at the time of enrollment. In addition to being clean and renewable energy, 3Cchoice is classified as 31% renewable, exceeding State requirements. 3CE provides a savings for 3Cchoice customers when compared to PG&E’s electricity generation service. Learn more about 3CE’s new pathway to 100% clean and renewable energy by 2030 here.
Yes, 3CE offers 3Cprime which is supported by 100% eligible renewable energy generated exclusively from solar and wind, assuring a positive influence on the health of our oceans and our air.
3Cprime is available to all customers at an added cost of less than one penny per kilowatt hour (.8c/kWh) or approximately $3 – $7 extra per month for residential customers who fall within the average monthly consumption of 300 – 500 kilowatt hours of electricity per month.
You can choose 3Cchoice or 3Cprime at any time. To change your subscription, visit our Service Offerings web page or call 1-888-909-6227.
You can opt-out at no charge 60 days prior to initial service and 60 days after enrollment. After 60 days, there will be a $5 administrative fee charged for residential accounts, or $25 for commercial accounts. See our Opt Out web page for more information.
Yes. Existing NEM customers will be enrolled in 3CE’s Net Energy Metering program for their power generation charges. The program will operate by the same principles as PG&E’s or SCE’s NEM program, which remains in effect for the delivery charges and other bill components.
Since PG&E and SCE require NEM customers to true-up when they enroll with a community choice energy provider, 3CE will hold multiple NEM enrollment months to enroll NEM customers closest to their normal true-up date, in order to minimize any potential disruption to the customer’s expected NEM value. If you have any questions or concerns about your NEM enrollment, please contact us at 888-909-6227.
Yes. A customer transitioning to service with 3CE will remain grandfathered on the original NEM design if they were on it before switching to 3CE.
When you become an 3CE customer, you will true-up with PG&E or SCE. To minimize any potential lost credits, 3CE will hold multiple NEM enrollment months and will place NEM customers in the month closest to their true-up date. If you have any questions or concerns about automatic enrollment, please contact us at 888-909-6227.
Depending on the rate plan and system production, Central Coast Community Energy solar customers can save money compared to PG&E or SCE solar customers. If you are a net consumer of electricity, you can save money on your electric generation charges with 3CE. If you are an annual net generator of electricity, 3CE will compensate you at a significantly higher rate than PG&E or SCE. As of July 2020, 3x higher NSC than PG&E or SCE.
The financial incentives for solar are largely unchanged with 3CE. As the electric delivery provider, your utility provider still limits the size of solar systems to 110% of expected total usage. However, for solar customers that are also Net Generators, 3CE’s Net Surplus Compensation rate is significantly higher than PG&E’s or SCE’s. To find out the current NSC rate, please visit our nem webpage.
There is no need to wait to go solar.
Yes. With Central Coast Community Energy, customers will continue to have an annual true-up for both 3CE and PG&E or SCE charges. The true-up date will be the anniversary of their enrollment with 3CE instead of the anniversary of their system interconnection. 3CE automatically enrolls solar customers close to their original true-up date in order to minimize disruption to customers.
Per state law, 3CE will mail an enrollment notice to every customer four times, including two times within 60 days prior to the start of service and two times within 60 days following the start of service.
California’s CCA law requires Central Coast Community Energy to become the primary provider of electric generation for customers within our service area, which means all eligible customers will be enrolled and can opt-out to return to PG&E or SCE’s electricity bundled service at any time.
At launch, Central Coast Community Energy customers are enrolled in 3CE’s 3Cchoice standard service, unless you opt-out to remain with PG&E or SCE service. For the first 60 days of 3CE service, you can opt out at no charge. After the initial 60-day period, there will be a small one-time service fee to opt out ($5 for residential customer accounts and $25 for commercial customer accounts). 3CE customers can switch from 3Cchoice to 3Cprime service at any time, free of charge. Once enrolled in 3Cprime, customers may choose to return to 3Cchoice at no cost. Customers of 3CE choosing to opt out of 3CE services and return to PG&E or SCE bundled service will be subject to the standard opt out terms and conditions, and additional fees may apply. Terms and Conditions for all services are available on our website.
There is no charge for opting out of Central Coast Community Energy before or within the first 60 days of service. After the first 60 days of service, Central Coast Community Energy will charge a one-time administrative fee of $5 for residential accounts or $25 for commercial accounts. You always have the choice to return to PG&E or SCE’s bundled service. You can opt out on our website or by calling 1-888-909-6227.
Customers who opt out within the enrollment period or in the first 60 days of Central Coast Community Energy service may return to Central Coast Community Energy service at any time. Customers who opt out after the first 60 days of service with Central Coast Community Energy will be prohibited by regulation from returning to Central Coast Community Energy for one year.
If you are enrolled with 3CE, your PG&E/SCE paper or electronic bill will include “Central Coast Community Energy Electric Generation Charges” on the first page, under Your Account Summary.
3CE currently serves the County of Monterey, County of San Benito, County of Santa Cruz, City of Capitola, City of Carmel, City of Gonzales, City of Greenfield, City of Hollister, City of Marina, City of Monterey, City of Pacific Grove, City of Salinas, City of San Juan Bautista, City of Sand City, City of Santa Cruz, City of Scotts Valley, City of Seaside, City of Soledad, City of Watsonville, City of Morro Bay, and the City of San Luis Obispo.
Service begins in January 2021: Cities of Arroyo Grande, Del Rey Oaks, Grover Beach, Guadalupe, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, Santa Maria and Solvang and the northern part of Unincorporated Santa Barbara County (PG&E Service Territory only)
Service Begins October 2021: Cities of Carpinteria, Goleta, Grover Beach, and the southern part of Unincorporated Santa Barbara County (SCE Service Territory)
Central Coast Community Energy provides electricity generation only. As a Community Choice Energy program, our scope is limited to generation services and cannot expand to include metering services. PG&E and SCE own and maintain the energy distribution system, including the meters at your home or business. Therefore, Central Coast Community Energy does not have any control over whether or not our customers receive Smart Meters from PG&E or SCE. If you wish to opt out of a Smart Meter, please contact PG&E or SCE directly.
Establishing service is easy. Contact PG&E or SCE one week before you will need service at your new address and schedule an appointment. New customers who move into the Central Coast Community Energy service area and contact PG&E or SCE are automatically enrolled into Central Coast Community Energy and will be mailed two notices within the first 60 days of service with information about their options.
The Central Coast Community Energy Policy Board sets rates according to agreed-upon goals and the cost of its energy contracts during that period. 3CE is committed to offering electric generation rates at competitive rates with the goal of providing a savings when compared to your utility provider, inclusive of the utility-imposed PCIA fee. Rates are developed, discussed, evaluated and approved at public meetings, where the public is welcome to speak and give feedback. For detailed rate information, please see our residential and business rate pages on our website.
The Central Coast Community Energy Board is committed to providing clean and renewable electricity at the most competitive prices possible. Developed to benefit the Central Coast clean, affordable energy is one way we plan to do that. As a public entity, Central Coast Community Energy is here to serve and benefit all of the residents and businesses in its service territory. We do not have shareholders that we need to serve. We work for you, the local customer.
Yes. CARE, FERA HEAP and Medical Baseline is available to Central Coast Community Energy customers, as well as utility customers, and provides the same discount regardless of enrollment with Central Coast Community Energy or your utility provider. Customers enrolled in Central Coast Community Energy continue to receive their CARE, FERA and Medical Baseline discount within their Utility delivery charges; there is no need to reapply with Central Coast Community Energy. New CARE, FERA and Medical Baseline enrollments or renewals must still be done through your utility’s customer service center or website.
No. You will continue to receive just one bill from PG&E or SCE. Central Coast Community Energy’s charges for electricity generation are included as a line item on your utility bill. PG&E or SCE will continue to charge for the transmission and delivery of electricity, along with a variety of other regulatory and program charges at the same rates they always have. There are no duplicate charges for electricity generation.
PG&E and SCE charge Central Coast Community Energy customers a Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) and a Franchise Fee Surcharge. Both are calculated based on the number of kilowatt-hours used each month. The PCIA is intended to ensure that 3CE customers pay the difference between what PG&E and SCE paid for power contracted to serve them prior to their switch, and the current market value of that power. For most 3CE customers, the PCIA is currently two to three cents per kilowatt-hour, depending on when the customer switched to Central Coast Community Energy and whether they are a residential or a commercial customer. The PCIA and Franchise Fee charges are factored into 3CE’s rate setting process so that in total, customers still save money compared to your utility provider’s rates.
This is a state-required “high usage surcharge” that is applied to the part of the energy that exceeds four times the baseline allowance, and applies to all Tiered Rate plan (E-1) customers. It is not a 3CE charge. You can learn more about the surcharge here.
No. Central Coast Community Energy’s rate structure mirrors those of PG&E and SCE. For more information, visit our Billing web page found under Account and Services.
Not through 3CE. SmartRate is a PG&E program that provides you a small discount during summer months in return for a higher rate up to 15 SmartDays a year, where you pay a much higher price for usage. Central Coast Community Energy rate schedules are designed to follow the same rates as PG&E, however at this time we do not have an equivalent SmartRate program, since PG&E is in the process of implementing time of use as a default rate, which could lead to phasing out this special rate. Instead, you will have clean and renewable electricity at equivalent rates to PG&E year-round, and will have the chance to participate in similar dynamic rates as they become available in the future.
Yes, the California Climate Credit is part of California’s efforts to fight climate change. The credit is a state government program requiring power plants and other large industries emitting greenhouse gases to buy carbon pollution permits from auctions managed by the Air Resources Board. The credit on your electricity bill is your share of the payments from the State’s program.
If you use the Budget Billing option with your utility provider, your utility provider natural gas charges and your electric delivery charges will still be leveled from month to month. Electric generation charges cannot be leveled in the 3CE program and will vary with each bill. For most customers, these charges do not vary greatly from month to month during the year.
In 2018, California State Regulators unanimously voted to shut down the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in an effort to expand sources of renewable energy. Your utility provider announced in agreement to shut down the plant and filed its 2018 Nuclear Decommissioning Cost Triennial Proceeding application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). In this application, your utility provider presented the costs (planning and preparation for decommissioning activities, obtaining necessary regulatory approvals and permits, demolition and disposal of existing site facilities, site restoration activities, managing spent nuclear fuel storage until disposal by the Department of Energy, and maintaining necessary security operations) that are necessary to safely and responsibly decommission Diablo Canyon Power Plant and to complete decommissioning and remediation activities associated with Humbolt Bay Power Plant Unit 3.
Yes, commercial customers will receive a cost savings on their generation charges from 3CE.
No, reliability will not be affected. 3CE provides electric generation services, but responsibility for power transmission, distribution, billing and service reliability remains with your utility provider. Your utility provider continues to maintain the power distribution network and repair any outages.
Direct Access (DA) customer accounts are not automatically enrolled with Central Coast Community Energy. DA customers in 3CE’s service area will stay with their current DA provider, unless they choose to change providers and enroll in the Central Coast Community Energy generation service.
Central Coast Community Energy’s commercial rate schedules are designed to parallel your utility provider’s rate schedules, and apply to generation-related charges only. For instance, 3CE maintains an equivalent schedule for all current commercial rate schedules (e.g. A-1, A-10, E-19) provided by your utility provider. This includes time-of-use and NEM rate schedules.
Central Coast Community Energy rate schedules describe generation-related charges only. By law, your utility provider’s delivery charges remain the same, whether you receive generation services from 3CE or your utility provider. The bill will also include PCIA exit fees which are accounted for in 3CE rate setting. Commercial customers will receive a lower rate and lower electric generation cost compared to your utility provider.
Only slightly. Large commercial energy customers are usually on rate schedules that have demand charges. These are complex and are comprised of generation, distribution and transmission-related charges. Demand charges are based on peak monthly kilowatt demand for a given interval. The distribution and transmission portion of the demand charge remains with your utility provider, as it is on the current PG&E or SCE rate schedule. This represents the majority of the current demand charge. The rate for the smaller generation portion of the demand charge is set by 3CE.
As a Central Coast Community Energy commercial customer, you are no longer eligible for PG&E’s Peak Day Pricing (PDP) program, an opt out program that offers regular rate demand credits in return for peak period energy surcharges on 9-15 event days. 3CE customers are eligible for all other Demand Response-related programs, through direct enrollment with a program aggregator or PG&E as applicable. These include the Base Interruptible Program (BIP), Capacity Bidding Program (CBP), Demand Response Auction Mechanism (DRAM), Automated Demand Response (ADR) and others.
Yes. The California Public Utilities Commission authorizes your utility provider to collect fees (called public goods charges) from all customers to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy incentive programs. Your utility provider will still collect these fees and Central Coast Community Energy commercial customers remain eligible for the broad range of energy efficiency rebates, incentives and services currently offered by your utility provider.
Rates are developed by 3CE staff and are approved by the Central Coast Community Energy’s governing Board of Directors in a public meeting process.
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