Central Coast Community Energy Choices

Do I have to participate in Central Coast Community Energy? Can I un-enroll? 

You can un-enroll 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 Un-Enrollment web page for more information. 

Can I change my mind about which Central Coast Community Energy service offering I want?

You can choose 3Cchoice or 3Cprime at any time. To change your subscription, see our Energy Choices web page or call 1-888-909-6227.

Does Central Coast Community Energy offer a 100% renewable option so I can make a bigger impact? 

Yes, Central Coast Community Energy offers 3Cprime which is supported by 100% eligible renewable energy generated exclusively from solar and wind, assuring a positive influence on our environment. 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. 

What is Central Coast Community Energy’s standard service offering and how do I sign up?

3Cchoice is Central Coast Community Energy’s standard electricity offering, available as the primary default to all customers at enrollment. In addition to being clean and renewable energy, 3Cchoice is classified as 31% renewable, exceeding State requirements. Central Coast Community Energy is on a pathway to achieving 60% clean and renewable energy by 2025.  

General Questions

Is the PCIA fee an additional charge that comes with being a 3CE customer? 

No, the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) came into being after IOUs lost generation responsibility to CCAs; both IOU and CCA customers pay this fee. The fee covers long-term power purchase agreements that IOUs no longer need, given their reduction in load. Eventually, these charges should go away. 3CE and other CCAs have opposed these charges before the CPUC and asked for greater transparency into the unused power amounts they pay for and when they are set to expire.

How will my bill change with Central Coast Community Energy?

You will continue to receive one bill from PG&E or SCE. You will see Central Coast Community Energy’s Electric Generation Charge as a new line item on your bill that replaces your utility provider’s electric generation charge, which was previously part of your bundled electricity charges.

How does Central Coast Community Energy ensure that its energy is Clean and Renewable?

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. Central Coast Community Energy must also submit this information to state regulators to ensure compliance with the law. These reporting requirements allow us to ensure that our power procurement strategy supports clean and renewable energy.

Am I still eligible for various rebates from PG&E or SCE, like for Electric Vehicle or Energy Efficiency?

Yes, Central Coast Community Energy customers remain eligible for PG&E or SCE rebate programs. 

Will my discount program continue with Central Coast Community Energy?

Yes. CARE, FERA, HEAP, and Medical Baseline are available to Central Coast Community Energy customers and PG&E or SCE customers and provide 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.

Why was I enrolled in Central Coast Community Energy?

Your city and/or county chose to become part of Central Coast Community Energy (3CE). Our agency provides communities with local control over their power supply service and purchasing power based on our number of customers, which allows us to provide pricing competitive to that of PGE and SCE. Community Choice Aggregators (CCA) 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 services from their existing utility provider. CCAs 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 often, lower electricity prices. Participation in 3CE is voluntary. While AB 117 requires Central Coast Community Energy to be the primary electricity provider for all customers within our service area, customers can return to the investor-owned utility’s (PG&E/SCE) bundled electric service at any time.

When was Central Coast Community Energy formed? 

The Central Coast Community Energy 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).

Does Central Coast Community Energy replace PG&E or SCE?

No. Central Coast Community Energy works in partnership with your utility provider. Central Coast Community Energy assumes responsibility for electric power procurement (electric generation services) and purchases clean and renewable electricity for homes and businesses. However, your utility provider continues to deliver the power to your location, provide customer billing, receive payments, perform power line maintenance and resolve outages. Your utility provider stops charging you for electric generation, and Central Coast Community Energy takes over this service upon a city or county’s enrollment.

How does Central Coast Community Energy procure power, and where does it come from?

Central Coast Community Energy (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 based on demand and availability. 3CE has short and long-term contracts with a variety of power suppliers to meet our community’s energy needs. Most of Central Coast Community Energy’s long-term power contracts will be from CA sources. 3CE provides detailed information about its power supply resources in its annual Power Content Label. Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) 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. CCAs also enter into contracts with investor-owned utilities to transmit the electricity that the CCA buys over the private utilities’ transmission lines.

What is Community Choice Energy?

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 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 24 operational CCEs throughout the state, with many more communities forming their programs. For more information, please visit cal-cca.org 

When did Central Coast Community Energy begin serving customers?

Central Coast Community Energy (3CE) began serving customers within Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties in Spring 2018, except 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 included the Cities of Arroyo Grande, Del Rey Oaks, Grover Beach, Guadalupe, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, Santa Maria, Solvang, and unincorporated Santa Barbara County (PG&E Service Territory).    The October 2021 enrollment included the Cities of Carpinteria, Goleta, and Unincorporated Santa Barbara County (SCE Service Territory).    The January 2022 enrollment included the City of Buellton.    New customers received 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. 

Which communities voted to participate in Central Coast Community Energy? 

The counties of Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara approved participation in Central Coast Community Energy (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.

What benefits does Central Coast Community Energy give my community and me? 

Central Coast Community energy (3CE) provides financial and educational resources as well as technical assistance to help you electrify your life. As a 3CE customer, you have access to exclusive Energy Program rebates and incentives to help you electrify your transportation, home, or workplace. Considering a new or used electric vehicle but not sure how you will charge it? We’ve got rebates for new and used electric vehicles, charger equipment, and even labor associated with installing a charger. 

What is Central Coast Community Energy?

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 Aggregation (CCA), in which power supply is purchased through the CCA and the local utility (in our case PG&E or SCE) continues to provide consolidated billing, electricity transmission, customer service, and grid maintenance services. PG&E or SCE accounts within 3CE’s service area are enrolled in 3CE’s default electric program, 3Cchoice, unless they choose to opt up to 3Cprime 100% renewable energy or if they elect to un-enroll and return to PG&E, or SCE bundled service. 3CE provides customers with a choice of clean and renewable power, and community reinvestment through competitive rates and local GHG-reducing energy programs for residential, commercial, and agricultural customers. 


I’m considering installing solar, should I wait until I’m enrolled in 3CE? 

There is no need to wait to go solar. 

How do Central Coast Community Energy’s policies change the financial incentives for having solar panels? 

The financial incentives for solar are largely unchanged with Central Coast Community Energy. As the electric delivery provider, your utility provider still limits the size of solar systems to 110% of expected total usage. 

 Is 3CE Supporting Local Solar, Battery, and Microgrid Industries? 

 3CE is committed to investigating and developing local renewable energy resources. 3CE has contracted with four developers to build six local projects comprised of 100MW of solar and 50 MW of battery storage and five yet-to-be-determined small storage facilities, all located in 3CE’s service area. 3CE will prequalify local developers to distribute up to 100MW of stand-alone battery storage (sized 1 to 5MW) throughout the 3CE service area. 3CE leads discussions supporting key legislative initiatives to support battery deployment, microgrid developments, and baseload bioenergy projects. 3CE supports local developers and the local economy through its outreach and energy programs. For more information on 3CE’s commitments to renewable energy, visit our Clean Energy page. 

Does 3CE Support Solar?  

 Unequivocally, yes. 3CE invests significantly in all renewable energy resources, including solar, as part of its pathway to 100% clean and renewable energy by 2030.

 Why does 3CE bill NEM customers monthly? 

Monthly billing provides customers with greater visibility into how their on-site generation systems are functioning and when they are over or under-generating. Monthly billing also helps mitigate the potential for significant year-end charges for customers whose systems regularly under-generate, representing most NEM customers.

Why did 3CE choose December for annual true-up? 

When we instituted a standard annual true-up month, most of our customers received true-ups in October, January, and March. Therefore, December was designated as the least impactful month across all existing customer true-up dates.  

How are NEM customers billed on a monthly basis?  

Every month, if a 3CE customer on our NEM program generates more electricity than they consume, the customer will earn a credit which carries forward to offset costs in the following month. If a customer consumes more electricity than the customer’s system generates, then the customer pays for the net consumption costs.  

 When does 3CE’s Annual True-Up Occur?  

Customers on the NEM program receive an annual true-up each year in December. At that time, customers eligible for Net Surplus Compensation (NSC) will receive payment or bill credit based on the 3CE’s board-approved rates. End of Year Statements will be available in January of each year. 

Top Questions

Am I able to access the same discount programs with Central Coast Community Energy?

Yes. In addition to Central Coast Community Energy‘s rate benefits and local energy programs, Central Coast Community Energy customers can take advantage of the same discounts offered by investor-owned utilities and the State of California (CARE, FERA, LIHEAP, Medical Baseline). Central Coast Community Energy strives to make electric generation charges affordable to all, regardless of income. There is no need to reapply for financial assistance programs with Central Coast Community Energy. New CARE, FERA, and Medical Baseline enrollments or renewals will still be submitted through your utility provider’s customer service center or website. 

How will my bill change with Central Coast Community Energy? 

You will continue to receive one bill from PG&E or SCE. You will see Central Coast Community Energy’s generation charge as a new line item on your bill that replaces the electric generation charge from your utility provider, which was previously part of your bundled electricity charges.