Clean Power Alliance (CPA) is extending its COVID-19 Relief Program for struggling residential and small business customers. The CPA Board of Directors voted on Oct. 1 to increase the already-approved $1 million program to $2 million in bill credits.
Founded in 2017, CPA is a locally controlled electricity provider that offers clean, renewable energy to approximately three million customers. CPA purchases power, which is then delivered by Southern California Edison (SCE). SCE sends a single bill to customers that includes SCE delivery charges and CPA supply/generation charges (which replace SCE’s previous generation charges). SCE continues to be responsible for maintenance of electric transmission lines and resolving any issues with customers’ electricity service.
Originally established as a Joint Powers Authority with unincorporated Los Angeles County, Rolling Hills Estates, and South Pasadena as founding members, CPA has grown to a coalition of 32 agencies, including the City of Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica and Malibu. Each member agency has a seat on the CPA Board of Directors filled by an elected official from that jurisdiction. Beverly Hills is represented by Councilmember Julian Gold, M.D., who is also the Chair of the CPA Finance Committee.
“We have provided cleaner energy that is cheaper than what Southern California Edison provides. We recognize, though, that we also have an obligation to support our communities and that happens in a number of ways. One is to provide green programs, such as recharging stations. Another is to help municipalities put solar into critical infrastructure,” Gold told the Courier.
The pandemic has brought about additional concerns.
“We recognize a greater need to help residents and businesses. We didn’t know how great the need would be, so we made an initial allocation of $1 million that was set aside for assistance. As the pandemic continues, it is clear that business is not back to normal. At our last board meeting, we decided to double the allocation to $2 million,” said Gold.
Under the CPA bill credit program, residential customers are entitled to a one-time $25 bill credit when they sign up for certain statewide programs. The state programs, CARE (California Alternate Rates for Energy), FERA (Family Electric Rate Assistance) and Medical Baseline, provide reduced electricity bills to eligible customers meeting certain criteria. The state has expanded eligibility for CARE/FERA during the pandemic. It has also streamlined the application process for Medical Baseline (for those who must operate medical equipment in their home).
Small business customers with cash flow issues due to COVID-19 can receive up to a one-year partial extension on their electricity payments. They can also receive a one-time $50 bill credit if they sign up for a payment plan through SCE.
The relief credits will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.
“I would tell anybody who is struggling because of COVID-19, be they a business or resident, by all means apply for the program,” said Gold. To learn more, visit www.sce.com/care.