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Community Choice

California Assembly Bill 117, passed in 2002, allows cities and counties to combine the electrical loads of their constituents for bulk electricity purchases through Community Choice Aggregation. For customers participating in a Community Choice program, the local utility company will continue to deliver the electricity purchased by the regional Community Choice program through its wires and will also continue to provide meter reading, billing and maintenance services.

The Kings River Conservation District and 13 municipalities-Kings County and the cities of Clovis, Corcoran, Dinuba, Fresno, Kerman, Kingsburg, Lemoore, Hanford, Parlier, Reedley, Selma, and Sanger-worked together to implement a Community Choice program in the Central Valley to reduce costs, increase energy reliability and bring additional renewable energy resources to valley residents and businesses. In 2006, the municipalities formalized their governance with the formation of the San Joaquin Valley Power Authority (SJVPA), a governing body that would develop and conduct electricity-related programs for the region. In April, 2007, the SJVPA was the first to receive approval and certification from the California Public Utilities Commission of the required Community Choice Implementation Plan.

The SJVPA members engaged in activities over several years to establish a Community Choice program for the region; however, in June 2009, the SJVPA temporarily suspended efforts to implement Community Choice due to the tightness in the credit market and the volatility in energy prices, and other concerns including the uncertainty with California's energy regulations. In addition, the SJVPA had experienced strong opposition from PG&E. In early 2007, PG&E began an aggressive campaign and marketing effort against SJVPA. SJVPA initiated a complaint proceeding against PG&E before the California Public Utilities Commission, seeking more specific standards of conduct of various PG&E marketing and related activities conducted at ratepayer expense. A Settlement Agreement was signed by SJVPA and PG&E in April 2008 that contained specific standards of conduct for marketing activities related to Community Choice.

After three years of monitoring the energy market and investigating opportunities to continue with Community Choice, the SJVPA decided in September 2012 to terminate the Joint Powers Agreement and dissolve the SJVPA. The SJVPA was officially dissolved in January, 2013.