Local Clean Energy Alliance Program

The program of the Local Clean Energy Alliance includes both policy advocacy and efforts to build a stronger clean energy movement in the Bay Area.

Our current policy priorities for advocacy are:

·      Comprehensive and Equitable Energy Reduction. We advocate for reduction in overall energy use through increased efficiency and conservation, as an essential component of decentralized energy systems. We promote policies and programs that advance deep building energy efficiency upgrades, broad-based and affordable financing mechanisms, and pathways for local residents into clean energy jobs. As a result of our advocacy, these perspectives have been incorporated into Oakland’s Energy and Climate Action Plan. One particular focus has been on finding solutions that apply to multi-family residential buildings.

·      Local Renewable Power. We advocate for local renewable energy development as an economic platform for creating jobs and revenue for cities while helping them meet their greenhouse gas reduction goals. We promote policies and programs that advance community-scale energy generation, such as California’s AB 1990 feed-in tariff program (Community Solar for All) and programs that enable energy financing and ownership for low-income communities.

·      Energy Democracy. We advocate for Community Choice energy programs, as provided for by California’s AB 117 (2002), which allows local governments to pool or “aggregate” electricity customers to form a local electricity agency. Community Choice puts communities in control of the procurement of electricity, while the incumbent investor-owned electric utility delivers and services the electricity for customers. Community Choice energy can be a powerful vehicle for the development of local, democratically controlled, renewable energy resources that meet community needs. The Alliance has played a central role in developing and securing passage of San Francisco’s CleanPowerSF Community Choice program and in launching the Clean Energy & Jobs Oakland campaign for establishing a Community Choice energy program in the East Bay.

Resources we offer to building a stronger clean energy movement include:

·      The Clean Power, Healthy Communities Conference. This annual conference has drawn a diverse cross-section of over 150 climate activists, clean energy businesses, trade unionists, environmental justice advocates, and public officials to discuss the benefits of local renewable power to Bay Area communities and to build a movement to realize those benefits. This conference initiated the grassroots opposition to California’s Prop 16 in 2010, and subsequent conferences have strengthened feed-in tariff and Community Choice efforts in the Bay Area. For details about the 2012 conference click here.

·      Community Power: Decentralized Renewable Energy in California. This highly acclaimed publication from the Local Clean Energy Alliance has been a major educational tool for local clean energy advocates. It shows how local, decentralized generation of electricity offers many benefits to California’s communities relative to large central-station solar or wind power plants in remote areas. It also identifies obstacles to local renewable power and outlines policies that can promote its development. To purchase or download a copy of the publication, click here.

·      Energy Policy Briefings. The Local Clean Energy Alliance conducts energy policy briefings for organizations that want to educate their membership or staff to the economic and social implications of various renewable energy policy options. These briefings for organizations such as the Asia Pacific Environmental Network, California League of Conservation Voters, and the California Environmental Justice Alliance are customized to the needs of each organization. The Alliance has also contributed papers and organized sessions at energy and sustainability conferences in the Bay Area, the Good Jobs Green Jobs conferences, and the Energy Emergency-Energy Transition international trade union roundtable (October 2012).

·      General Membership Meetings and Educational Events. On a regular basis the Local Clean Energy Alliance presents educational programs and discussions about timely clean energy issues. These range from legislation, to local energy initiatives, to presentations of research studies, to new technologies, policies, or strategies. These meetings provide a forum for advocates to interact on a regular basis.