Local Clean Energy
News & Alerts
The following list highlights some of the main achievements of the Local Clean Energy Alliance by year since 2008, presented in rough chronological order within each year.
• Facilitated the East Bay Clean Power Alliance.
Organized and facilitated monthly meetings of the East Bay Clean Power Alliance general membership, maintaining communication between the general membership and the Coordinating Committee and helped set the political and organizing agenda for the Alliance as a whole.
• Provided leadership to the East Bay Clean Power Alliance Coordinating Committee.
Organizing within the Coordinating Committee has resulted in a politically unified Committee, which takes collective responsibility for making decisions and carrying out the multitude of tasks aimed at shaping the Alameda County Community Choice program. In 2016 the Coordinating Committee worked collaboratively to produce several important documents and communications related to Alameda’s Community Choice program: Program Vision: A Community-Development Focused East Bay Community Energy Program and Proposals for Alameda County’s Community Choice JPA Agreement.
• Organized a strategy session in early February in Washington, DC of energy democracy leaders from across the country.
The Local Clean Energy Alliance partnered with collaborators of the Energy Democracy Project to convene a day-long exploration of energy democracy issues for a group of about two dozen leaders of energy democracy projects from across the country.
• Coordinated the California Alliance for Community Energy.
The Local Clean Energy Alliance chaired the Steering Committee of this statewide alliance of Community Choice advocates, which conducts monthly conference calls on issues of concern to incipient and established Community Choice programs and takes stands to defend and support Community Choice programs that advance local clean energy for the environmental and economic benefit of California communities. In March the Alliance took a strong position on stranded utility contract fees charged to Community Choice customers.
• Organized and hosted a March 15 Public Event: Clean Power to the People.
This event was held to deepen the community’s vision of a Community Choice energy program in the East Bay and to focus on program goals that advance economic, environmental, and racial justice. The event emphasized the critical moment for East Bay community energy, as the County was fast-tracking the establishment of a program that could leave our communities out in the cold.
• Organized and hosted a May 25 Public Event: Strategy Session.
This event was held to engage community organizations in the East Bay and solicit ideas for community action to support the call for a JPA agreement that includes direct community involvement in the governance of the program and a stated commitment to community benefit goals. Participants suggested a press conference, getting attention to the issue through social media, and rolling out a letter-writing campaign using and online platform for generating letters to the Board of Supervisors.
• Organized a Democratizing Energy workshop track at CommonBound 2016.
This workshop track at the New Economy Coalition’s CommonBound 2016 conference in July, was organized by a coordinating committee led by the Local Clean Energy Alliance. The track included ten sessions on topics of importance to energy democracy: community engagement, the role of race in energy democracy, energy policy, confronting utility power, energy development models, financing, and labor.
• Signed up fifty-six organizations to call on County Supervisors to “Put Our Communities in Community Choice.”
This accomplishment was the result of an intensive, months-long outreach effort to engage community organizations and requesting that they sign on to a call for a joint powers authority (JPA) agreement that includes direct community involvement in the governance of the Community Choice program and a stated commitment to community benefit goals put forward for the program. Fifty-six organizations signed on by July 27.
• Organized a successful Web-based Letter Campaign to County Supervisors.
This campaign, organized with other members of the East Bay Clean Power Alliance, reached out to community members to write to Supervisors using a web-based letter-writing platform calling on the Supervisors to make sure our communities are at the center of the Alameda County’s Community Choice program. The campaign resulted in 343 letters to County Supervisors as of August 1.
• Achieved a Solar Siting Survey for Alameda County.
Prior to securing the commitment to prepare a business plan for the development of local renewable energy resources (see next bullet), Alameda County staff agreed to an important first step: an investigation of the technical potential for local solar development—a solar siting survey, which will be conducted at County expense.
• Secured commitments to local renewable development and community benefits in Alameda County’s Community Choice program.
On October 4th, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, responding to community advocates, approved a Joint Powers Authority Agreement that includes a commitment to maximizing community benefits and including community input in the governance of the program. Specific achievements formalized in the JPA agreement include (a) a commitment to developing, within witht months of agency formation, a business plan for achieving local renewable energy development, union and family-supporting jobs, and other community benefits and (b) setting a new precedent by establishing a Community Advisory Committee whose chair sits on the JPA Board as a non-voting member.
• Formally launched and provided staffing for the East Bay Clean Power Alliance.
The Alliance is an organization advocating for a community-development-focused Community Choice energy program in the East Bay, one that serves to spur equitable economic development and family-sustaining clean energy jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, stabilize or lower the cost of electricity, improve community health and social equity, and provide other community benefits.
• Provided leadership to the East Bay Clean Power Alliance and its successful advocacy.
This included advocating for: 1) strong Community Choice program goals, 2) a more diverse Alameda County Community Choice steering committee structure, 3) a feasibility study RFP that reflects stated program goals and a prioritizing of local renewable energy resource development, 4) a vision of what a community-development-focused program would look like, 5) a commitment to local build-out planning, and 6) an overall strong community presence before the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.
• Convened the fifth annual Clean Power, Healthy Communities Conference on March 5, 2015.
This year’s conference focused explicitly on energy democracy and community-based decentralized renewable energy as a path to community empowerment. Drawing leaders from around the U.S. as conference speakers, the conference was an unprecedented exploration of strategic perspectives on energy democracy. Videos of the presentations are posted on the conference web site, in particular, Envisioning Energy Democracy.
• Organized and led a successful March 5, 2015 labor workshop on local clean energy development.
The workshop brought together about 15 unionists and about twice as many energy activists to discuss local clean energy development and family-sustaining, clean energy jobs. The workshop drew union members and officials from across organized labor, from public service workers, nurses, warehouse workers, private sector services, and building trades. Labor participants were deeply engaged in the discussion and in pursuing the issues of climate and social justice within their unions.
• Published and began distribution of Toward a Climate Justice Energy Platform: Democratizing Our Energy Future.
This paper presents a vision of a democratized energy future. It explores the strategic relationship between energy and climate justice and identifies principles of democratized energy development. The paper discusses issues, criteria, and models relevant to a climate justice energy platform and proposes a set of policies and programs to advance energy democracy.
• Hosted a convening in early March in Oakland of energy democracy leaders from across the country.
The Local Clean Energy Alliance partnered with the Center for Social Inclusion and the Climate Justice Alliance to organize a day-long exploration of energy democracy issues for a group of about two dozen leaders of climate justice initiatives based in low income communities and communities of color from Jackson, Mississippi to Detroit, Michigan.
• Wrote and won unanimous passage on June 16, 2015 of an Oakland City Council resolution.
The resolution called for an East Bay Community Choice program shaped by the community benefit goals and vision promoted by the East Bay Clean Power Alliance.
• Organized and hosted a July 24 Roundtable on Labor, Climate, and Energy.
This roundtable drew about 25 labor activists from a variety of local unions. The workshop focused on the impact of climate on all workers, the need for solutions that promote social justice, and for energy models that build resilience in our communities. In particular, it highlighted the emergence of a Community Choice program in the East Bay.
• Created a statewide Community Choice advocacy alliance, the California Alliance for Community Energy.
The Alliance consists of advocates from Community Choice initiatives across the state. The Local Clean Energy Alliance organized and chaired the Alliance’s Steering Committee, began conducting statewide conference calls, and engaging in state policy and program issues.
• Collaborated with organizations across the country to create and lead the Energy Democracy Project.
This project brings together organizations and individuals across the country to popularize and advance energy democracy as a key strategic perspective within the climate and new economy movement, and which seeks to replace our current corporate fossil-fuel economy with one that puts racial, social, and economic justice at the forefront of the transition to a 100% renewable energy future.
• Local Clean Energy Alliance Steering Committee members were appointed to community advisory and oversight bodies for establishing and shaping Community Choice energy programs in Alameda County and San Mateo County.
• Hosted and organized a December 15 community discussion, Putting Our Community in Community Choice Energy.
This event was a discussion among community organizations in the East Bay to promote a Community Choice energy program in the East Bay that advances economic, environmental, and racial justice. The discussion drew 25 community leaders, mostly individuals of color from base building, clean energy, social justice, religious, and union organizations in Oakland and neighboring communities.
• Created an online directory, Resources on Energy Democracy.
This resource directory includes the most important documents, videos, and articles about democratizing the energy system.
· Published and distributed East Bay Community Choice Energy: From Concept to Implementation. This report is the A to Z of Community Choice energy programs for policy makers and stakeholders in any community, and strongly impacted thinking about Community Choice in the East Bay.
· Organized Growing Clean Energy Jobs in Oakland on behalf of the Clean Energy & Jobs Oakland Campaign to educate residents of East Oakland on the potential of Community Choice energy as a vehicle for creating local clean energy jobs. The event, on April 5, 2014 at Youth UpRising, drew approximately 100 attendees, approximately three-fourths of whom were people of color, including youth, representing four different high schools.
· Mobilized to achieve a successful vote on June 3, 2014 of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to spend $1.3 million to take initial steps toward establishing a Community Choice energy program in the county.
· Organized a sprited noon-time rally of over sixty people on June 19, 2015 outside PG&E’s payment center in downtown Oakland to protest PG&E's backing of AB 2145, legislation meant to prevent the establishment of new Community Choice energy programs in California.
· Formed the Coordinating Committee and provided crucial leadership to the opposition coalition, Californians for Community Choice, which defeated AB 2145 in the 2014 legislative session, despite the bill's backing by both the state’s investor-owned utilities and the California Labor Federation.
· Played a leading role in creating the East Bay Clean Power Alliance in fall 2014, whose mission is to advocate for Community Choice energy programs in the East Bay that serve to spur equitable economic development and family-sustaining clean energy jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, stabilize or lower the cost of electricity, improve community health and social equity, and provide other community benefits.
· Using the paper Expressions of Energy Democracy, initiated a discussion among climate justice organizations across the country toward the formation of a National Energy Democracy Network and consolidation of those organizations around a climate justice energy platform.
· Released the promotional video, Community Choice, Community Power, which highlights the Local Clean Energy Alliance’s perspective on Community Choice energy programs and the broader democratization of energy.
· Conducted policy briefings and made presentations for the Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference, Growing Clean Energy Jobs in Oakland Forum, 350 Bay Area's Dirty Energy/Clean Solutions Conference, Left Forum in New York City, Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter, International Visitor Leadership Program, People's Climate Justice Summit, and others.
· Anchored the Oakland Climate Action Coalition, a nationally-respected example of cross-sector climate justice organizing and community engagement. Played a major role in securing and carrying out grants to strengthen community resilience in the face of climate change.
· Hosted the fourth annual Clean Power, Healthy Communities Conference on October 17 featuring keynote speaker Tom Steyer, climate mover and shaker, and 150 diverse clean energy advocates, including 39 sponsoring organizations, to build a political constituency and overcome financing barriers for local renewable energy development.
· Convened the community advocacy group of organizations that pressed the CleanPowerSF program to honor its commitment to the development of local renewable energy resources (and jobs), despite political setbacks to CleanPowerSF stemming from the influence of PG&E in city government. LCEA chaired meetings of stakeholders with SF Public Utilities Commission staff.
· Expanded the Clean Energy & Jobs Oakland campaign of the Oakland Climate Action Coalition to establish a Community Choice energy program in the East Bay, garnering support from twenty-seven community organizations.
· Conducted policy briefings and made presentations for the Economic Roundtable of San Francisco, First National Adaptation Forum, Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference, Spring of Sustainability Roundtable, Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter, International Visitor Leadership Program, and the California Chapter of the American Planning Association.
· Wrote and distributed a highly-acclaimed paper on renewable energy certificates, which is cited around the country: What the Heck is a REC?
· Organized four educational program events on topical energy subjects: fracking in California, intelligent grid, California’s valuation of solarPV, and 350 Bay Area campaigns.
· Anchored the Oakland Climate Action Coalition, a nationally-respected example of cross-sector climate justice organizing and community engagement. Played a major role in restructuring Coalition operations to win key grants to further its work on behalf of Oakland’s Energy and Climate Action Plan.
· Organized the third annual Clean Power, Healthy Communities Conference
· Led a coalition of groups that succeeded in passing a September 18 resolution at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors that launched the CleanPowerSF program, and which included a commitment to development of local renewable energy resources
· Organized the Clean Energy & Jobs Oakland campaign to establish a Community Choice energy program in the East Bay and won support from seventeen community organizations and several City Council members in the closing months of the year
· Organized a successful campaign to pressure Governor Brown to veto AB 976, a stealth anti-Community Choice bill that sailed through the state legislature
· Conducted policy briefings and made presentations for the Progressive Opportunities Conference, Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference, People Organized to Defend Employment Rights, Economics of Happiness Conference, San Francisco Environment Commission, Alameda County Planning Department, Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter, City of Alameda Democratic Club, Berkeley Climate Action Coalition
· Organized the second annual Clean Power, Healthy Communities Conference
· Conducted policy briefings for Asia Pacific Environmental Network, California League of Conservation Voters, and the California Environmental Justice Alliance
· Led a coalition of groups that obtained commitment from San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to develop local renewable energy resources in its CleanPowerSF program
· Organized the first annual Clean Power, Healthy Communities Conference
· Played a leading role in the successful grassroots effort to defeat Prop 16: the PG&E power grab
· Conducted a workshop on Community Choice energy for Oakland City Council
· Successfully advocated for the City of Oakland to develop a process for citizen input on the Climate Action Plan
· Successfully advocated for Oakland Public Works to propose an aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets to the City
· Successfully advocated for Oakland, Berkeley, and Hayward to join other Alameda County cities in the stopwaste.org comprehensive energy efficiency program, "Green Packages"
· Successfully advocated for Oakland and Berkeley to pass resolutions supporting SB 279, needed for robust financing of energy efficiency and renewable energy in the East Bay
· Developed a policy document – The 21st Century Greenprint for the East Bay – that was subsequently introduced as a source document for potential actions into Oakland’s Climate Action Planning Process
· Supported the first use of redevelopment funds in Alameda County for installing sustainable energy technologies on low income and nonprofit homes to improve affordability
· Proposed a locally-focused Community Choice energy program and successfully advocated for City Council workshops on such a program in Oakland and Berkeley