Is California risking another energy crisis with community choice programs?

Californians have more options than ever for buying energy. Rooftop solar and batteries have made it possible for homeowners and businesses to generate and store their own electricity. Community-led energy programs, which started in the Bay Area and are now rolling out in the Coachella Valley, have allowed cities to abandon their traditional electric utilities. And corporations looking for cheaper, cleaner energy are increasingly buying power directly from big solar and wind farms.

While those innovations have generally been celebrated for democratizing the energy landscape — and taking control away from monopoly utilities — the state’s top utilities regulator is worried they could have dangerous unintended consequences.

 

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