Sonoma to join new power agency?

A Sonoma City Council vote to join Sonoma Clean Power Authority, the county-owned power agency set to begin service next January, will likely come Monday night.

SCP has set a June 30 deadline for cities to be part of the new system, a not-for-profit electricity provider offering more electricity supplied from clean, renewable resources at stable and affordable rates.

SCP supporters say the program will put an end to PG&E’s monopoly, providing local competition and customer choice as well as a say in how the new agency is managed and operated.

Though the price for power would be about the same, the new provider will use more renewable resources, such as solar, wind and geothermal, than PG&E, officials said. Read the guest opinion.

Non-supporters such as the Advisory Committee at New Sonoma, an organization of financial experts and concerned citizens, question the statements that SCP will result in lower carbon emissions, lower rates, and that it would create jobs.

Under this new enterprise, PG&E would continue to provide all power delivery and utility billing services.

If Sonoma chooses to join SCP, residents as well as businesses would automatically be enrolled, in gradual numbers, over a two-year period.

Customers will always be able to opt out of the county program in favor of PG&E.
Joining the SCP consortium would give Sonoma a seat on the newly created board of directors.

The SCP will become the power provider in unincorporated areas as of Jan. 1.

The city of Windsor has signed on as well. Cloverdale and Rhonert Park have voted not to participate, but may join in at a later date. The other Sonoma County cities have yet to decide.

The city council meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Community Meeting Room, 177 W. First St. It will be broadcast live on KSVY TV Cable Channel 27.

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