MCE’s Community Reinvestment: The Power of Community Choice

MCE’s Community Reinvestment: The Power of Community Choice

This series explores the ways environmental justice is essential to MCE’s mission to address climate change by reducing energy-related greenhouse gas emissions through renewable energy and energy efficiency.

As California’s first Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Program, MCE is a groundbreaking, not-for-profit, public agency that has been setting the standard for energy innovation in our communities since 2010. MCE offers cleaner power at stable rates, significantly reducing energy-related greenhouse gas emissions and enabling millions of dollars of reinvestment in local energy programs.

CCAs are uniquely designed to offer tailored programs and services to support local needs. Since our inception MCE has heavily reinvested in our communities.

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Reinvestment Through Customer Programs

MCE has invested in a suite of customer programs to incentivize local renewable energy development, grow the clean energy economy, and support energy equity across its communities.

Energy Storage Program

MCE’s Energy Storage Program launched in July 2020 with the goal of deploying 15 megawatt-hours of customer-owned, behind-the-meter battery energy storage systems over two years. The dispatchable batteries are paired with solar and programmed to provide immediate backup power and daily peak load reduction, resulting in reduced emissions, grid congestion, and electricity costs. MCE’s Board approved an initial $6M Resiliency Fund, which was paired with grant support from the Marin Community Foundation and the state’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) to significantly reduce or in some cases completely eliminate customer costs.

To provide immediate support to medical baseline customers during the 2020 fire season, MCE also purchased and distributed 100 portable, off–grid batteries to medically vulnerable customers in partnership with the local Centers for Independent Living.

Cost Savings Through Energy Efficiency

MCE has reinvested over $11 million through energy efficiency programs, including $2.44 million in rebates directly to customers. These programs provide upgrades that reduce electricity and water consumption, improve quality of life, reduce monthly bills, and add valuable health and safety upgrades.

Expanding adoption of Electric Vehicles and Solar 

Our EV rebate programs have reinvested over $4 million in charging infrastructure throughout our service area and $300,000 to EVs for income-qualified customers. MCE’s charging infrastructure program has closed the gap in access to charging stations by 40% with 1,000 new charging ports. Since 2012, MCE has reinvested $725,000 in income-qualified solar installations through GRID Alternatives, our workforce development partner.

Workforce Development and Local Projects

In 2017, MCE implemented a Sustainable Workforce and Diversity Policy focused on creating equitable clean energy jobs. This policy builds on MCE’s Feed-In Tariff (FIT) and FIT Plus program requirements for 50% local hire and prevailing wages. MCE’s Sustainable Workforce and Diversity Policy outlines our commitment to diversity and inclusion by contracting for power resources, procuring goods and services, and implementing hiring initiatives. The policy calls for quality training, apprenticeship, and pre-apprenticeship programs; fair wages; and direct hiring practices that promote diversity in the workplace.

Renewable Energy Development

Working with project developers and local workforce development agencies, MCE has reinvested over $81 million in 35 megawatts of renewable projects in our service area. These projects, combined with MCE’s energy efficiency programs and income-qualified solar rebates, have also reinvested more than $440,000 directly into workforce development, supporting more than 2,250 work hours and training 60+ individuals.

Workforce Development and Labor Partners

MCE’s partnership with local labor and workforce development agencies stems from our mission to build more equitable communities. We have partnered with RichmondBUILD, Marin City Community Development Corporation, Rising Sun Energy Center, Future Build, and North Bay Workforce Alliance to providing training for careers in the clean energy economy. This has included opportunities to work on MCE’s local renewable and energy efficiency projects, as well as serving in MCE’s Customer Care Center located in Pittsburg, CA, an MCE community.

These workforce development partners work directly with job seekers in the community, providing on-the-job training and skill building. Many of these programs work with underserved populations, including low-income residents and those who have a history with the justice system, or were previously incarcerated. MCE is proud to partner with these programs to provide direct pathways into family-sustaining jobs in green energy.

RichmondBUILD, Marin City Community Development Corporation, Rising Sun Energy Center, Future Build, North Bay Workforce Alliance, Overaa Construction including UBC (Local 152) & Laborers (Local 324), Net Electric including IBEW (Local 302) & Laborers Union (Local 324), Newtron Group, Inc. including IBEW (Local 302), Laborer’s Union (Local 324) & Lineman’s Union (Local 1245), Contra Costa Electric including Laborers Union (Local 324), IBEW (Local 302), Linemen’s (Local 1245), Goebel Construction including Laborers Union (Local 324), Operating Engineers (Local 3) & Steamfitters (Local 342).

MCE is proud to lead the way in critical community reinvestments needed to reduce carbon emissions and address environmental inequities. To learn more about MCE’s community reinvestment and successes over our first decade of service, view our 10-Year Impact Report.

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