How 3CE Works

aerial view of Leadbetter Point at sunrise, Santa Barbara, Calif

Powered By Community Choice

Thirty-five communities joined Central Coast Community Energy (3CE) with the shared goal of gaining more control over their electricity needs: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support the growth of clean and renewable energy, and access additional economic and environmental benefits. 

Are You A Central Coast Community Energy Customer?

3CE serves 95% of the population throughout Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara counties.

Many community members are 3CE customers without realizing it.

PG&E Customers: Customers receive a bill from PG&E, the 3CE service costs are integrated on this bill. Refer to page one of your electric bill, if there is a line on “Your Account Summary” reading “Central Coast Community Energy Electric Generation Charges,” you are a 3CE customer.

SCE Customers: Customers receive a bill from SCE, the 3CE service costs are integrated on this bill. Refer to the “Supply/Generation” page of your electric bill. The top right of this page will indicate who supplies your energy. If the page reads “Central Coast Community Energy supplies your energy,” you are a 3CE customer.

You can also give 3CE a call at 1-877-455-2223.

What is “community choice” energy? 

3CE follows the Community Choice Aggregator or “CCA” model, a community-focused, not-for-profit model that allows for greater commitment to clean and renewable energy while supporting community investment, affordable and fair rates, and equitable access to clean-energy resources.  

More than 11 million Californians are served by 24 community choice energy agencies, accounting for nearly a quarter of the state’s electricity load. Collectively, CCAs are significantly contributing to a cleaner, more reliable grid. 

How does 3CE work? 

Here is a simple explanation:

As a 3CE customer, your utility (PGE or SCE) continues delivering power as well as maintaining electric infrastructure and billing, but 3CE and the communities we serve now manage where (local vs. California vs. out-of-state) and how (solar, wind, geothermal, etc.) our electricity is generated. With no investors or shareholders to pass profits on to, together with our customers, we choose how best to invest in our Central Coast community. 

PGE or SCE continues charging for Transmission and Distribution, while 3CE now charges for Electric Generation (formerly part of PGE or SCE Bundled Service costs). 

Here is a more technical explanation:

3CE assumes exclusive responsibility for electricity generation, including purchasing electricity from generators, investing in generating resources, and balancing supply with demand. PGE or SCE retains sole responsibility for 3CE customers’ electricity distribution, including grid infrastructure investment and energy delivery (Transmission and Distribution charges). PGE and SCE are also responsible for metering and billing, including one comprehensive bill including 3CE Electric Generation Charges*.  

With no investors or shareholders, 3CE can use its revenue to finance worthy public benefits programs such as customer rebates for electric transportation (electric vehicles, motorcycles, and buses) or electrifying buildings by switching gas-powered appliances (water heaters, HVAC, cooktops, etc.) to clean, all-electric solutions. In just our first four years of service, 3CE made more than $26 million in rebates and incentives available to customers through energy program rebates and incentives. 3CE’s knowledge of our diverse Central Coast community can help improve the effectiveness of investments by targeting programs that support unique community priorities. Current CPUC rules also allow 3CE – and the 23 other CCAs operating in California – the right to administer public goods funding for energy efficiency programs. 

Customers have a separate line item on their PG&E or SCE electricity bill, which shows participation in Central Coast Community Energy. 3CE buys clean electricity directly from the source, encouraging the kind of market growth and competition that results in more renewable energy and lower energy generation rates. PG&E and SCE deliver electricity over existing infrastructure, maintain power lines, and provide customer service. Every month, 3CE customers receive their electricity bill from PG&E or SCE, with 3CE’s lower generation charges replacing those from PG&E or SCE.

animation showing how 3CE buys power at a cheaper price