By: Saara Lampwalla
California Choice Energy Authority (CCEA) and the City of Pico Rivera have established a partnership that puts the power of choice in the hands of the residents of Pico Rivera. The partnership has enabled Pico Rivera to launch Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy (PRIME), a Community Choice Aggregator.
When Pico Rivera City Manager René Bobadilla learned that Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) could help the City obtain more renewable energy and cost savings, as well as strengthen local control and create a positive regional impact, he began looking for ways to implement CCA in his community.
“We looked at a range of options for implementing Community Choice Aggregation in Pico Rivera in a way that would diminish execution risk, ensure control for our community and leverage the experience of others. The City of Pico Rivera found a great partner with the California Choice Energy Authority that will yield all the benefits we believe are possible with CCA,” says Bobadilla. “Pico Rivera has been aggressively implementing innovative new programs to drive economic progress and new services for our residents; this is just another step in the right direction.”
City of Pico Rivera Senior Analyst Katherine Hernandez was tasked to learn about CCEA and how the enterprise and joint powers authority (JPA) hybrid could help Pico Rivera achieve the same model of success as the City of Lancaster. The CCEA staff, she says, demonstrated their industry expertise right from the start. “CCEA staff answered all of our questions, understood the implementation process with Southern California Edison and shared a workable timeline overview to help us plan for the future,” says Hernandez.
Initially launched as an opportunity for the City of Lancaster, CCEA has grown over time with a strategic interest in sharing its expertise and resources with other like-minded communities.
“Building on CCEA’s successful launch in Lancaster, our goal is to expand and partner with cities that have an interest in establishing CCA programs without sacrificing control or taking on the burden of significant liability,” says Mayor R. Rex Parris. “We have found such a partner in Pico Rivera, whose supportive council wants to provide better services for its residents.”
“CCEA will use its expertise and knowledge to guide the City through the efficient implementation of PRIME,” says CCEA Executive Director Mark Bozigian. “It will help the City communicate with businesses and residents, ease the transition with local investor-owned utility Southern California Edison and ensure that regulations are upheld to achieve PRIME’s launch date of September 1, 2017.”
For the City of Pico Rivera, PRIME is a step into a more sustainable and independent future.
CCEA is a pioneering Community Choice Aggregation solution for cities in California. Formed through the experience of the City of Lancaster as it went through the launch of its CCA in 2014, the joint powers authority provides an innovative model that retains local control of utility services for cities who partner with CCEA while alleviating operational risk and administrative overhead associated with the implementation of CCA. CCEA’s joint power authority model is quickly becoming the gold standard for implementation of CCA by California cities.
Situated on the eastern edge of the Los Angeles basin and the southern edge of the area known as the San Gabriel Valley, Pico Rivera is approximately 13 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. Pico Rivera is a thriving community that offers opportunities to all who live, work and relax in the City.