The Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) Operations Board announced that they have voted unanimously in support of forming a Community Advisory Council to address the needs of tri-county businesses and residents. The council will advise MBCP on how best to direct agency funds.
Formed in March 2017, Monterey Bay Community Power is a joint powers authority governed by a policy board and an operations board made up of elected officials from Santa Cruz County, Monterey County, and San Benito County. While PG&E still transports electricity through its lines (and continues to provide natural gas), MBCP has buying power from various power-producing companies including hydroelectric, wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy.
“As a public agency formed by 16 cities and all three counties in tri-county, we have a duty to these communities,” MBCP Marketing and Communications Manager Peter Berridge said. “The Community Advisory Council represents our commitment to inclusivity and transparency, and to addressing the unique needs of our diverse region.”
According to a press release by MBCP, because they are not an investor-owned utility, surplus revenues that would normally go to shareholders and investors will be reinvested in the community to maximize greenhouse gas reduction, stabilize and reduce customer rates and costs, and invest in local energy projects and programs.
While Monterey Bay Community Power identified an advisory council early in the planning process, it took several months and ongoing public comment during board meetings to finally shape what the council was going to look like.
“It took a lot of work to get us here,” MBCP Program Coordinator Beth Trenchard said. “Members of our community put forth a persistent effort to shape the [Community Advisory Council] into something they could embrace and benefit from, and we put the time in to incorporate their feedback and create an advisory group that supports MBCP’s mission and the will of tri-county businesses and residents.”
The application process for seats on the Community Advisory Council has already begun and members of the business, agriculture, hospitality, environmental, and residential communities are encouraged to apply. Eleven qualified advisory council members who best represent the diversity of the region will be selected. A subcommittee made up of county supervisors from Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties will identify top candidates, after which members of the Monterey Bay Community Power Policy Board will vote to determine the final selection.
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