In April, all businesses in the City of Irvine will automatically be transferred from their current provider of electricity, Southern California Edison (SCE), and enrolled in the new Orange County Power Authority (OCPA).
Six months later — in October — Irvine’s residential customers will be automatically transferred from SCE to the new OCPA plan.
The success of the Power Authority will depend on Irvine businesses and residents choosing to remain in the OCPA program and not opt-out and return to SCE.
With the launch dates quickly approaching, a growing number of local climate action leaders have been publicly speaking out against the agency, urging cities not to join the OCPA.
According to a recent article in the Voice of OC, the Power Authority originally told cities that joined OCPA that customers of electricity would be receiving cleaner energy at less expensive rates than SCE. The article referenced a Fullerton staff report from November 2020 that promised “the program would bring millions in savings to residents every year.”
However, when OCPA released residential rates on January 11th of this year, it was discovered that Irvine households will pay between $4.25 and $6.38 per month more than they currently pay for energy provided by SCE. (Commercial rates have not yet been made publicly available.)
The cities of Irvine, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, and Buena Park make up the OCPA. (Lake Forest pulled out last year and, so far, the other 29 cities in Orange County have chosen not to join the Power Authority.)
The City of Irvine is responsible for funding the OCPA through the end of this year. Up until now, more than $7.7 million of Irvine taxpayer money has been advanced to the energy start-up.
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