Nearly 75 percent of Sonoma County residents support having a community owned electricity program and 67 percent think that it’s important that their electricity comes from clean sources like solar and wind and is locally sourced.
These are just some of the findings of a recent survey conducted by the Sonoma County Water Agency, which since last year has been studying whether to implement Community Choice Aggregation, a program that allows counties to develop their own sources of clean energy—like solar, wind, geothermal and biomass—instead of purchasing it from PG&E.
If Sonoma County implements the program, it would be only the second in California to do so, following Marin County, which approved a CCA in 2010.
The survey is based on some 4,300 responses from Sonoma County residents collected last month. And in addition to the value many put on generating a local source of energy, more than a third said they were willing to pay more for clean energy, while 41 percent said they weren’t interested in paying “much more.”
A second survey of about 1,000 local businesses found that keeping electricity rates stable was important and nearly 70 percent were supportive of having electricity produced locally if they knew the revenues would be reinvested back into the local economy.
“This survey provides a good gauge of where the community stands on the issues,” said Sonoma County Water Agency Director Mike McGuire. “The Board will carefully take the results into consideration as we determine next steps.”
Full surveys can be found at www.scwa.ca.gov/cca/.