Central Coast Community Energy CEO, Tom Habashi, Announces Retirement

September 21, 2022

Habashi plans to retire at the conclusion of his current contract on March 31, 2023

Monterey, CA — September 21, 2022 — Tom Habashi today announced his plan to retire from Central Coast Community Energy (CCCE) at the conclusion of his contract on March 31, 2023.

Mr. Habashi’s announcement was made during CCCE’s second annual meeting, a two-day, public event attended by the agency’s 33 board members, who represent the cities and counties that signed the Joint Powers Authority agreement underlying the agency’s formation.

Under Habashi’s leadership, CCCE grew from serving 265,000 customers in 2018 to approximately 435,000 customers today. As CEO, Habashi worked closely with the board of directors to develop and implement a vision aimed at providing clean and renewable energy at affordable rates to residents and businesses across five counties, from Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara. A public agency, CCCE was formed to bring local control to energy sourcing and pricing. The agency has committed to acquire $2 billion of power generated from new-build renewable energy projects, anticipated to produce 889 MW of zero-carbon energy for the region, or 60% of the area’s electric load by 2025. CCCE adopted a plan in 2021 to achieve 100% renewable power by 2030, ahead of state and federal goals.

“On behalf of the entire board, I want to express our sincerest thanks to Tom for his leadership of CCCE,” said CCCE Board Chair and Salinas Councilman Steve McShane. “Tom and his entire executive team are credited with extraordinary accomplishments in procuring cleaner power for our communities and in establishing a new model for the way we purchase energy. Community Choice Aggregation agencies now serve more than a quarter of the state’s electric load. Tom has been a key player in this movement, having been responsible for starting two separate CCAs, also the industry trade association, CalCCA, the California Community Choice Financing Authority, and CC Power, a separate Joint Powers Authority that allows CCAs to leverage their joint buying power in a manner similar to public utilities.  We’ve been lucky to have him at the helm here on the Central Coast.”

CCCE Operations Board Chair and Santa Cruz County Administrator Carlos Palacios announced that a search process will begin immediately through a board sub-committee, which is expected to put forward a candidate to the Policy Board for approval in December.

“It’s been an honor for me to work alongside our board, executive leadership team, and the talented employees that make up CCCE,” said Habashi. “I came with the goal of establishing an agency that would be here for the long-term and which could bring faster progress on climate goals. It’s an ideal time to hand the reigns to a new CEO. Our fundamental strategies are in place and have begun to bear fruit. CCCE’s next leader will be able to shape and execute the pathway to our commitment of bringing 100% renewable energy to our communities as laid out by our board.”

During Habashi’s tenure, CCCE became the first Community Choice Aggregation agency to earn an A credit rating by Standard and Poor’s. He is also responsible for growing CCCE’s Energy Programs, designed to reinvest in local communities through incentive funding for electrifying buildings and transportation, from $2.6 million in 2018 to nearly $16 million in FY 22/23.

“Tom led CCCE in the spirit intended by our communities when we came together with the vision to bring local, publicly owned power to the Central Coast,” said Santa Cruz County Supervisor and founding board member Bruce McPherson. “At the time we knew he was the right person for the job, and he hasn’t let us down. Tom has guided the agency through the challenges of an energy crisis and a global pandemic. His financial insight and clear vision have made Central Coast Community Energy a leader among Community Choice Aggregation Agencies.”

The CEO search process will focus on identifying a leader that shares the vision articulated by CCCE’s board and who demonstrates a passion for and commitment to the development of the agency, combined with the experience and qualities required to continue an accelerated transition to a sustainable energy future for the region. The agency invites the public to get involved in the process by sharing their recommendations on the necessary key attributes for CCCE’s next CEO. The survey is accessible at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FRSNS7H and will be open until October 31, 2022.


About Central Coast Community Energy

Central Coast Community Energy is a public agency that sources competitively priced electricity from clean and renewable energy resources. CCCE is locally controlled and governed by board members who represent each community served by the agency. Revenue generated by CCCE stays local and helps keep electricity rates affordable for customers, while also funding innovative energy programs designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions and stimulate economic development. CCCE serves 436,000 customers throughout the Central Coast, including residential, commercial, and agricultural customers in communities located within Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more at 3CEnergy.org and on social media, including FacebookInstagram, and Twitter @3CEnergy.

For more information:
Central Coast Community Energy
Catherine Stedman
Director of Communications and Outreach