Today, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion that will launch a “Green Power” initiative offering businesses and residents an opportunity to reduce greenhouse gases, and possibly reduce their rates as well, beginning in 2018. Earlier in the day, county, city, business, and environmental leaders gathered at a press conference in support of the motion.

The initiative, known as “Community Choice Aggregation (CCA),” offers electricity customers new energy options, often at lower rates than what’s offered by their local utility. CCAs allow local governments to purchase electricity in the wholesale power market and sell it to their residents and businesses as an alternative to electricity provided by an investor-owned utility.

CCA electricity rates are often as much as 5% lower for homeowners and businesses than the rates offered by investor-owned utilities. Through a CCA, consumers can also help increase the amount of clean energy used in their community, thereby helping to reach, and even exceed, state and national clean energy goals. Other forward-looking states that have established CCAs (Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio) have found that the CCA helps create quality jobs in local, renewable power and leads to the development of distinctive, local green energy projects, such as solar canopies in urban parking lots or brownfield sites.

“With this ‘Green Power’ motion, the County is kicking off an initiative that will help protect the environment and create jobs in a new green economy,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, an author of the motion. “We are thrilled that cities within the County are already expressing interest in signing on.  This Earth Day, while Washington is gleefully slashing environmental protections and further jeopardizing the future of the planet, we in LA County are moving in a visionary new direction.”

“Community Choice Aggregation is a game changer for Los Angeles County,” said Supervisor and Board Chair Mark Ridley-Thomas, co-author of the motion. “It will allow us to procure and create new sources of green energy, thereby creating local jobs and leaving more money in our ratepayers’ wallets. In the face of perilous national scrutiny over climate change, it is critical that local governments continue to lead the way in producing a cleaner and greener future.”