FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

While a CCA program is not a new concept in California, we know it’s new to you, and we’re here to help you navigate it every step of the way. See below for our Frequently Asked Questions to learn how you can begin saving money on your electricity bill right away—just for being a member of your community!

What is a CCA Program?

A: CCA stands for Community Choice Aggregation. This is a program that gives local governments the opportunity to buy electricity directly from its source and then offer it to the customers in their communities.

How does a CCA work?

A: It’s actually pretty simple. For a long time, Southern California Edison has provided you with two services. First, they purchase your electricity from an energy source. Then, they distribute that electricity to you through their power lines. Two services, very little flexibility.

 

With a CCA, it splits up the responsibilities so that you get more competitive options. Now, you have a say in the kind of energy you get and the price you pay for it. On behalf of your city, Western Community Energy will purchase electricity from an energy source so that you get more competitive rates and programs that fit your community’s needs. Then, that same energy is funneled through SCE’s power lines just like before, so you never have to worry about a break in service. See? Simple.

Are there other CCAs in California?

A: Yes! Currently, there are eight CCA programs running in California. Each of them offers their customers 20-30% more renewable energy at prices that are competitive and, in most cases, lower than the utility rates. For more information on their programs, check out the list of programs on our website.

What are the Benefits of Western Community Energy?

A: That’s one of our favorite questions to answer. Here are the top four benefits of the WCE program:

 

1.  You, the community member or business owner get to choose what type of energy resources you use.

 

2. Your local elected officials will be in charge of deciding on energy resources, rate-setting, and administration. This means the programs are more suited to your individual community and it promotes local accountability and transparency, too.

 

3. Your energy will cost less! Right now, you’re stuck with whatever SCE charges you, based on whatever rates and contract they’ve been locked into with their energy provider. We now have the opportunity to negotiate more competitive rates for our communities and pass it on to each individual consumer. You’ll literally save money JUST for being a member of your community!

 

4. Your communities can continue to get more involved and spur economic growth by investing in the development of its own local, renewable energy production.

Who do I call if my power goes out?

A: That’s an important question. And probably the easiest one to answer. Remember what we mentioned earlier about WCE purchasing your energy from its source, and Southern California Edison delivering it to you per the usual? That means Edison is still responsible for delivering you consistent service. In the event of a power outage or any interruption of service, you will continue to contact SCE at (800) 611-1911.

What will I save?

A: On average, consumers can expect to save 3-5% on their electricity for the year, depending on which plan and energy type they prefer. That equates to over 40 MILLION in savings for Riverside County for doing nothing at all! Just continue your participation in the program and watch your savings grow.

Will my taxes increase?

A: Absolutely not. Western Community Energy does not have the ability to tax and there are no impacts on taxes. WCE will be funded entirely by revenue from the ratepayers and will require zero tax dollars from customers or participating communities. That’s what’s so great about this program, you literally save money on your energy bill JUST for being a resident or business owner in a participating city.

What will Western Community Energy actually do?

A: Here’s what we’ll be responsible for on your behalf:

 

• We’ll purchase energy for your community at a competitive rate and make sure everything is delivered to Edison so that they can continue servicing your power lines and electricity as usual.

 

• We’ll respond to your inquiries regarding energy supply, management and oversight. And we’ll be in touch with your local representatives to hear your ideas on what new resources and programs you’d like to see.

 

• And lastly, we’ll do all this while meeting the Resource Adequacy and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) State requirements.

How do I become a part of the program?

A: If you’ve received a notice that your city has joined the Western Community Energy CCA program, then you will be enrolled automatically and can begin saving money right away. This requires no action on your part. However, if your city is not currently participating, we encourage you to write or call your local representatives to request your city enrolls.

How will the rates be set?

A: Energy rates will be set regularly, based on the projected cost of energy. Right now, SCE’s rates are set by CPUC. You as the community member have no control or influence over it. With Western Community Energy, rates will be set by local elected officials representing your participating communities. And the public will also be encouraged to attend and participate in rate-setting meetings to ensure a more transparent process.

What happens to Southern California Edison? Will SCE stay involved in our area served by WCE?

A: Great question. Yes, SCE will continue to own and operate the distribution lines, be responsible for the reliable and safe delivery of electricity to the customer, provide metering services, conduct meter reading, and usage data acquisition, handle billing and payment services and continue to provide customer care and account maintenance.

If I have questions regarding my bill, who do I call?

A: You can actually reach out to Western Community Energy or Edison about your bill. Depending on the nature of your call, we’ll help you get in touch with the right person. To contact WCE about billing questions, simply dial 1-866-356-4175. Otherwise, you’re welcome to contact Southern California Edison at the number on your billing statement.

What if I don’t want to have my energy provided by WCE and just want to stay with SCE?

A: The answer is, you absolutely can. California law requires that customers receive several notifications to opt-out at no charge, both before and just after a CCA Program launches. All customers have the ability to choose which electricity provider is best for them California law also states that CCAs are “Opt-out” Programs, meaning once a local government takes action, all the residents and businesses will be automatically enrolled in the CCA. If you’d like to stick with SCE, simply “opt out” when you receive your notification. If you’d like to give it a try and decide afterward, you’ll be enrolled automatically and can see for yourself what you think.

You say that WCE can provide energy at lower cost, but how can I know for sure?

A: We can appreciate that question. That’s why there’s been a CCA Feasibility Study prepared specifically for Western Riverside County. It concluded that a CCA could, in fact, offer cost savings in comparison to SCE. And while there is no guarantee, other CCAs operating in California are also experiencing savings compared to their respective investor-owned utilities. What we can tell you is that each year, WCE will work with SCE to compare the energy costs offered by both energy providers. This information will then be distributed to all WCE customers. Complete transparency. If at any time you’re not satisfied, you can switch back to SCE, no problem.

Isn’t renewable power more expensive than non-renewable electricity?

A: You’d actually be surprised! In today’s markets, that is no longer the case. To date, CCAs in California have been able to offer 25-30% cleaner energy at still lower costs to customers compared to higher carbon-based energy sources. We’re excited to be making renewable power more accessible to your community here in Riverside County.

Am I able to switch back and forth from Western Community Energy to SCE?

A: Yes, you are. Once a CCA becomes active, all customers automatically will receive energy purchased by the CCA. However, you can absolutely go back to SCE-sourced energy at any time. Note though, you might have to pay a fee to SCE and be required to stay with SCE service for one year from that time. If you decide to switch back to WCE again, there are no fees or contracts.