Unifying the Central Coast

Unifying the Central Coast

3CE is well on its way to a successful expansion along the Central Coast. By bringing on additional jurisdictions as member agencies, 3CE will enlarge Community Choice Energy Agency’s geographic footprint in California and expand the influence of our trade organization, California Community Choice Association (Cal-CCA).
3CE’s geographic service area is currently limited to Santa Cruz, San Benito, Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties.  3CE staff believes that similar strategic benefits exist within the Central Coast and will not pursue additional regions to the north or east. 3CE will continue to support the establishment of CCAs in areas where community choice energy is  not yet an option to ratepayers. California’s Central Coast spanning from Santa Cruz County in the North to Santa Barbara County in the South, has a rich connection through its key industries such as agriculture, government, tourism and hospitality, healthcare and education, transportation infrastructure, geography, rural setting, demographics and coastal climate.

Enrollment Status in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties

3CE Currently Serves:
Counties of Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz, and the cities of Capitola, Carmel, Gonzales, Greenfield, Hollister, Marina,  Monterey, Morro Bay, Pacific Grove, Salinas, San Juan Bautista, San Luis Obispo, Sand City, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley,  Seaside, Soledad and Watsonville


Service Began January 2021:
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)


Service Begins October 2021:
Cities of Carpinteria, Goleta and Unincorporated Santa Barbara County
(SCE Service Territory)
Service Begins Early 2022:
City/County Current Step Enrollment Date
San Luis Obispo Enrollment period begins November, 2019 January, 2020
Morro Bay Enrollment period begins November, 2019 January, 2020
Grover Beach Approved as a JPA member Dec. 4, 2019 October 2021
Del Rey Oaks Approved as a JPA member Dec. 4, 2019 January 2021
Paso Robles Approved as a JPA member Dec. 4, 2019 January 2021
Pismo Beach Approved as a JPA member Dec. 4, 2019 January 2021
Guadalupe Approved as a JPA member Dec. 4, 2019 January 2021
Arroyo Grande​ Approved as a JPA member Dec. 4, 2019 January 2021
Santa Maria Approved as a JPA member Dec.4, 2019 January 2021
Unincorporated Santa Barbara County Approved as a JPA member Dec. 4, 2019 January 2021 for PG&E Territory and October 2021 for SCE Territory
Unincorporated San Luis Obispo County No planned action
Atascadero No planned action
Carpinteria Approved as a JPA member Dec. 4, 2019 October 2021
Goleta Approved as a JPA member Dec. 4, 2019 Early 2021
Solvang Approved as a JPA member Dec. 4, 2019 January 2021
Buellton Approved as a JPA member Sept. 2, 2020 Early 2022

JOIN THE 3CE Community Choice Energy Agency

Thank you for your interest in joining
Central Coast Community Energy!

Joining Central Coast Community energy (3CE) is the most cost-effective solution to empower communities with choice and clean and renewable energy.

Community Choice Energy (3CE) agencies like 3CE deliver more local control, rate benefits, innovative energy options, and impactful energy programs than the alternative. The cities of San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay elected to join 3CE in 2018 in order to take control of their ratepayer dollars to expand consumer choice, reduce utility costs, and invest in California’s renewable energy projects.

Those same benefits have inspired cities and counties throughout California to follow suit and pursue community choice energy through approximately 21 3CE agencies, serving over 10 million customers.

Most cities within the County of San Luis Obispo and the County of Santa Barbara have now joined 3CE’s already existing 19 member jurisdictions spanning the Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties, equaling 33 member jurisdictions and signaling a unified Central Coast.

As a result, these cities and counties exercise more local control over energy-related decisions through 3CE’s publicly appointed Community Advisory Council, Operations Board and Policy Board.

By joining 3CE, communities would have more discretion over how their ratepayer dollars are invested, including lower rates and/or local energy programs. Becoming part of our existing Community Choice Energy agency can help governments and their constituents achieve a powerful range of objectives without investing millions in creating a new 3CE. 


Read on to learn about the process of joining our 3CE. 

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Bill savings returned to our community in our first partial year of operation 2018.

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$12.7 M

Bill savings for customers in our second year of operation 2019.


Roadmap for Joining 3CE

This is an opportunity for the City or County to provide a public setting through a council meeting or workshop where the community can learn more about Central Coast Community Energy and the Community Choice Energy model.

These two items will allow for the City or County to formally adopt a resolution to join 3CE’s Joint Powers Authority (JPA) and introduce/read for the first time, an ordinance for the City of County approving 3CE’s JPA.  Here is the City of San Luis Obispo’s  Resolution . The cities of SLO and Morro Bay joined 3CE January, 2020.

Per state law, a second reading of the ordinance is necessary to formalize the City or County’s approval of joining 3CE as a member of the JPA. Here is the City of SLO’s  Ordinance document for reference. 

3CE will move forward with requesting PG&E or SCE load data for the City or County to analyze the associated cost of including those customers 

3CE will introduce the inclusion of the new communities to the Community Advisory Council then Operations Board for recommendation to the Policy Board to final approval.

The city or county will have an opportunity to decide upon their board representation consistent with 3CE’s board structure for the Community Advisory Council, Operations Board and Policy Board. 

The chosen elected official from the new board seat will be sworn in by the 3CE Policy Board.

With the approval of the policy board, 3CE will submit the amended implementation plan and Joints Powers Authority agreement to the CPUC for certification. It normally takes 90 days to certify the amended implementation plan. Here is our most recent Amended Implementation Plan 


We welcome your questions and encourage you to reach out to us any time.
Please email info@3Ce.org or call 831-641-7222 to know more about joining 3CE.

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Competitive and Lower Electricity Rates

3CE delivered a savings for electricity generation to customers in 2018 totaling $4.4 Million invested back into the community. This savings significantly increased for 2019, totaling over $12.7 million. Economies of scale create efficiency and cost-effective administration. Communities can minimize redundancy and capitalize on collective investments in local energy projects, long-term power contracts, human resources, and community outreach. 

Minimize start-up costs: Currently, there is minimal cost to join 3CE. Creating a new local program would require significant capital for start-up financing and could take years to begin providing service at comparable rates. As more communities collectively join at the same time, start-up costs can be shared or reduced. 3CE has contracted for long-term clean and renewable energy at low wholesale prices. 3CE’s energy procurement practices provide communities with protection against future market fluctuations. 3CE has significant operating reserves of $100 million as of December 2019, which can help with future energy market fluctuations, rate competitiveness and financing. 3CE will be able to fund local investments faster and and estimates reaching its reserve target of 50% of operating expenses in less than two years.

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Transition to a Cleaner, More Efficient Energy Supply

3CE’s current electricity mix is generated from clean and renewable sources including solar, wind and hydro and in 2021 multiple 3CE renewable projects will go live in partnership with Silicon Valley Clean Energy: Two solar + battery storage projects in CA, and 24/7 available renewable geothermal energy. 3CE was able to contract for three utility-scale renewable projects in its first partial year operation even while building reserves, providing rate benefits to customers and setting aside money for local greenhouse gas reducing energy projects.

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Customer Choice and Local Control

Your constituents will have a choice in their electric provider and power mix that their dollars support for the first time and they will have a voice at our public meetings. 3CE is accountable to the communities it serves, instead of to investors. It is self-sustaining through revenue and a public agency.

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Local Jobs Creation and Local Power Resiliency

CCAs aim for local renewable energy projects including micro-grids and becoming a solution for inter-connectivity obstacles to unlock economic opportunities for local businesses, often leading to job creation. 3CE invested $450k in 2018 in local contracts to support the local economy.

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Complementary local energy programs

3CE sets aside a percentage of its revenue, annually for local programs to further reduce Greenhouse Gasses locally. Some examples of programs are, electric vehicle (EV) incentives, EV charging station incentives, community solar projects, electrifying public transportation and built environment sectors, etc. The estimated amount dedicated for energy programs in fiscal year 20/21 is $6.5 MM.

3CE has partnered with the CA Energy Commission and the Center for Sustainable Energy, making $7 MM available for the purchase and installation of EV charging stations through the Central Coast Incentive Project. 3CE has invested approximately $725,000 for its Electric Vehicle incentive program, MBeVIP to support income-qualifying customers and public agencies. 3CE partnered with Grid Alternatives, a nonprofit organization that brings solar technology to communities that would not otherwise have access, to support income-qualified homeowners via its “Project Sunshine” program.

3CE will create an innovative electrification strategic plan to unlock the economic and environmental benefits of an electrified Central Coast through transportation electrification, building electrification and distributed energy resources. 3CE is developing a cutting-edge micro-grid program to provide greater access to electricity due to grid constraints while supporting economic opportunities.


Our door is open, please contact info@3Ce.org should you have questions.