L.A. County’s Internal Services Department Disappoints With Off-Target CCA “Business Plan” Delivery

The consultants hired by L.A. County’s Internal Service Department to produce a Los Angeles County Community Choice Energy Business Plan have done so and we found it thoroughly disappointing and a failure to deliver on the Board of Supervisors direction.

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On this day we have delivered our formal response comments and recommendations to the proposed plan and as you will read we found much to be lacking in the work by the consultants who were hired without a request for proposals process and without having any viable experience in producing a CCA business plan before.

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Here is an excerpt from our cover letter in our response document:

Unfortunately, this process has fallen short of the above objectives. In general, stakeholders and municipalities were kept at “arms-length”. This stands sharply in contrast to CCA launch efforts in other jurisdictions that have adhered to a much higher level of transparency and stakeholder engagement. As a result, the Business Plan:

  • Disregarded substantial input from stakeholders on workforce development and green jobs, and only included a generic discussions of distributed resources (which is so high-level as to be without practical use);
  • Proposed a governance structure wholly controlled by the County;
  • Excluded cities from the financial forecasts and provided no practical guidance on how cities would join the LACCE.

Recommended Next Steps

Despite the Business Plan’s shortcomings, we believe both South Bay Clean Power and the County of Los Angeles are positioned to move forward with the development and launch of Community Choice in 2017.

The next steps recommended to advance LACCE are based on our analysis of best practices of other California CCAs existing and in development. Please refer to the “Recommended Next Steps” section that concludes this report for details; in summary:

  • A reconstituted Implementation Workgroup should be formed and convened in September;
  • The reconstituted Implementation Workgroup should:
    1. Revise the Business Plan and Implementation Plan to address the errors and omissions detailed in this report and bring these work products in-line with stated policy objectives;
    2. Draft the Joint Powers Authority governance documents and required Request for Proposals for services;
    3. Bring these documents back to the Board for approval before the end of 2016.

We know that the County of Los Angeles is a leader among all California Counties, and that neither our elected representatives nor our citizens should settle for a mediocre Community Choice Aggregation program that does not maximize our potential to meet our climate action, distributed energy resource, economic and workforce development, and environmental justice goals. We encourage the County to aim high and deliver a CCA that sets the standard for all others.

We look forward to continuing to work in good faith with the County of Los Angeles throughout the development and implementation of Community Choice Aggregation. South Bay Clean Power already has existing advisory committees that have been working on the above tasks and work products. We stand ready to share resources, expertise and leadership to the County’s new Implementation Workgroup to achieve our mutual goals on an accelerated timeline.

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