A Solar Rights Alliance member contacted us recently after getting a letter informing him that he was being automatically switched to a new electricity provider, The Clean Power Alliance. Many of you are getting letters like these. Is this good or bad for you?
The answer: it depends on who you are getting switched to. For the Solar Rights Alliance member who contacted us, the switch appears positive. Clean Power Alliance's letter states that they "offer a Net Surplus Compensation rate that is always 10% higher than SCE's most recently published rate." Net Surplus Compensation is the compensation you get for the extra solar energy you have at year's end during "True Up" (primer here on True-Up).
Here's the letter the Solar Rights Alliance member received (personal info removed) from The Clean Power Alliance:
The Clean Power Alliance is one of almost 20 "community choice aggregators", a relatively new way for localities to have more control over the cost and source of local electricity.
Local governments can choose to establish a local Community Choice program as an alternative to the utility. Proponents say this will benefit consumers because these organizations are nonprofit and chartered to serve the public (rather than Southern California Edison's investors, for example).
For solar users like you, this may mean better net metering policies, like the case of our friend above.
That's not guaranteed, however. The policies are determined by each Community Choice program. We have not done a full analysis of how good all of the existing Community Choice programs are.
Have you gotten one of these letters, too? Let us know. We're curious to see how pro-solar these new entities are.