Environment & Science

Riverside County looks to drop SoCal Edison

File: A Southern California Edison sign outside the San Onofre Nuclear Plant.
File: A Southern California Edison sign outside the San Onofre Nuclear Plant.
Grant Slater/KPCC

Riverside County is taking steps to save taxpayers some cash when it comes to paying for energy.

On Tuesday, the county Board of Supervisors voted to take bids from companies that could create a countywide energy co-op rather than relying on Southern California Edison for power. 

By creating a "community choice aggregation," or CCA, the county would no longer rely on SoCal Edison to buy and build electricity supply. The CCA would potentially save residents money while opening up more opportunities for alternative energy. SoCal Edison, however, would still deliver power and maintain lines.

Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit said preliminary estimates show savings between 5 and 10 percent. He said the CCA would initially impact people living in unincorporated Riverside County, with potential for for other cities to follow suit. 

“It’s not going to change the world, but it is going to mean some additional spending money in the pockets of our rate payers, which is good for the economy of Riverside County, so everybody benefits," Benoit told KPCC. 

With the CCA, Benoit said Riverside County would be positioned to use locally produced solar and wind energy that is not currently being used locally. 

A report from the county said the average savings for the typical residence would be a little more than $55. Though Benoit said the project won't be off the ground for at least six to nine months, the county is now seeking proposals from entities that can implement the CCA.