AB117, which became law in September 2002, was passed in the aftermath of rolling blackouts and uncertainty about the state's sources of energy. It brought about Community Choice Aggregation legislation, which allows local governments to buy electricity directly from suppliers and sell it to their residents.
Its aim is choice, to introduce controlled competition in the public utility market.
Marin Clean Energy is the largest and most successful CCA at this time, and has more than 90,000 customers who get energy that is at least 50 percent renewable delivered to their homes and businesses. The energy is derived from wind and solar sources.
The power is delivered over existing infrastructure maintained by PG&E.
MCE has provided energy to Marin County customers since 2010.
MCE is a nonprofit public agency that provides energy to the County of Marin and 12 cities: San Rafael, Novato, Sausalito, Larkspur, Corte Madera, Belvedere, Fairfax, Mill Valley, Ross, Tiburon, San Anselmo and Richmond, the largest member and only one in the East Bay.
The Richmond City Council voted in June 2012 to join a consortium of cities switching residential and commercial electric service from PG&E to MCE.
MCE delivers the renewable energy at about the same price as PG&E.
Customers who do not opt out of MCE in cities where it's approved are automatically enrolled in MCE's "Light Green" program which delivers 50 percent of electricity from renewable energy sources, with the other 50 percent coming from existing electricity on the energy grid, for an average of about $1 more a month than PG&E.
For an average of less than $5 more per month, customers may instead choose to enroll in MCE's "Deep Green" program, which provides energy from 100 percent renewable sources.
For more information, go to https://mcecleanenergy.com/.