Lancaster, CA. October 12, 2017– The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) hosted its 2017 annual meeting last week at the Riverside Convention Center. Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris delivered the keynote address to nearly 200 attendees, who represented both existing community choice aggregators (CCAs) and emerging CCAs. Mayor Parris’ presentation focused on motivating the group members to continue to unite and defend against the overwhelming challenges that community choice electricity providers are enduring in the face of traditional investor-owned utilities (IOUs) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which oversees them.
“These organizations made a decision to take back their power. By localizing power resources and utilizing alternative energy to fuel our communities, we are not only working to save our world for future generations; we are also saving a tremendous amount in costs to ourselves and to rate payers,” said Mayor Parris. “Traditional utility companies are seeing their monopoly of California’s electricity supply slipping away as more CCAs form across the state. They are threatened and devising every scheme possible to shut down community choice aggregation. They will not win, however, if we keep pushing back. We must keep fighting the sustainability fight. We must do everything possible to maintain and facilitate local energy control… if we want our grandchildren to inhabit a livable planet.”
For the past several years, Mayor Parris has traveled worldwide to share the City of Lancaster’s energy story, which touts the City’s journey to becoming not only a municipal leader in alternative energy development, but also one of the world’s first zero-net energy cities. The growing popularity of community choice aggregation has shifted Mayor Parris’ message from one of persuading agencies to join the alternative energy agenda to motivating them to stay in the fight and not give up on all they have worked so hard to accomplish.
The California Community Choice Association represents the interests of California’s community choice electricity providers in the legislature and at state regulatory agencies. CalCCA currently has thirteen Operational Members serving as its Board of Directors, including the City’s utility service, Lancaster Choice Energy (LCE).
In addition to Mayor Parris’ keynote address, the CalCCA meeting hosted several discussion panels, including: The Art of Procurement – Securing Long Term Contracts and Meeting Compliance Obligations; Emerging CCAs – Who are the New Kids on the Block and What are their Challenges and Opportunities?; and, The Role of Elected Officials.
“Opportunities like these are invaluable for bridging relationships, sharing key learnings, and motivating one another to keep fighting the good fight,” added Mayor Parris. “No one should be reinventing the wheel or feeling like a lone island out there, especially when it comes to community choice aggregation. We’ve already led the way, and a multitude of others have also taken up the charge to put the bullies in their place. We have the right to save our resources… the right to save our communities… the right to save our world…. And, we have every intention of doing so.”