Last week, the Sonoma County Water Agency presented the results of a six-month feasibility study for a proposed community choice aggregation (CCA). Sonoma Clean Power promises the development of a local public-power agency that puts control in the hands of the community rather than PG&E. "This is the most powerful tool under local control for reducing greenhouse gas emissions," says Ann Hancock, executive director of the Climate Protection Campaign, citing the results of the $150,000 feasibility study. "Plus, it gives us more jobs and an economic boost as well."
While job boosts and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions are nothing but positive, power rates would most likely increase by a few dollars a month, but customers can opt out of Sonoma Clean Power, if they chose, at no cost. "This is part of the whole program that this community has committed itself to doing," she says.
After the presentation, the board of supervisors voted unanimously to continue the study of a CCA for Sonoma County, asking that the water agency return in six months with the results of further examination. The decision was reached after a series of questions about the types of jobs that would be created and whether the results and statistics were truly reliable, says Hancock. "They know this is a big deal, and they asked terrific questions," she says. "What's going is what we're calling due diligence. It's an important step. We've been studying it for six years. It's something that deserves and is getting good investigation before deciding how to proceed."