APPLE VALLEY — The town will become its residents’ default energy provider on April 1, a move officials say will result in lower rates and an approximate $21 million revenue surplus by 2026.
In the leadup to implementation, the Town Council has made several approvals related to the Apple Valley Choice Energy program.
In late January, AVCE’s rate structure and rates were established. Town documents show that domestic residential rates will start at about $0.06 per kilowatt hour (KWH), compared to the $0.075 per KWH currently charged by Southern California Edison.
Town documents show that the lowered rates will offer customers a minimum discount of 3 percent over SCE’s rates. In addition, residents who are part of the SCE Cares program will save approximately 13 percent.
The Cares savings were initially estimated at 15 percent, according to a previous Daily Press report.
Public Services Manager Joseph Moon previously told the Daily Press the town’s purchasing of energy directly through the market allows for the decreased rates.
Also in January, agreements were approved with Exelon Generation Company LLC, Energy America LLC and Shell Energy North America, the short-listed power suppliers from which the town expects to buy energy.
Town officials say multiple potential suppliers enables AVCE to purchase energy from a diverse group; however, they note that agreements with the three providers does not obligate AVCE to purchase power.
According to town documents, purchases will be made through written confirmations.
Three core plans will make up the program, according to AVCE’s website. They are referred to as the Core, More, and Your choices.
Core, the program’s default plan, offers 35 percent renewable energy content, while the More Choice plan offers customers 50 percent at a competitive price. Customers who “opt up” to the More Choice plan may revert back to the default plan at any time, according to AVCE’s website.
The Your Choice plan exists for customers who generate solar or wind power. Each month, Your Choice customers who contribute a surplus of power to the grid will be issued a credit. Conversely, those who use more power than they contribute will be debited.
SCE customers currently enrolled in Net Energy Metering will be automatically enrolled into the Your Choice plan upon transition to AVCE, the website shows.
According to the town, residents who wish to remain with SCE can opt out of AVCE; however, the Daily Press has obtained emails from several residents who have tried unsuccessfully.
Some residents voiced concern at an August 2016 Council meeting, calling the path to opting out of AVCE convoluted.
Moon previously said four notifications would be sent to customers during the program's enrollment period, including information related to opt-out rights.
The Daily Press is in the process of reviewing the emails and future reports on the opt-out choice are forthcoming.
Meanwhile, on Feb. 14, the Town Council adopted a $2.5 million loan agreement between the General and AVCE funds that will organize and implement the energy program, town documents show.
The loan is necessary, according to the documents, because the AVCE Fund does not currently have sufficient resources. The loan between the two funds is not to exceed seven years and is expected to be repaid to the General Fund with interest.
An AVCE community forum is scheduled for March 7 at the Apple Valley Conference Center located at 14975 Dale Evans Parkway. A brief presentation followed by a question-and-answer period will be offered in two sessions beginning at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Matthew Cabe can be reached at MCabe@VVDailyPress.com or at 760-951-6254. Follow him on Twitter @DP_MatthewCabe.