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01/07/2017 Pioneer Community Energy Update


Barry Stigers, KAHI’s former News Director, now retired, contributes a weekly commentary to KAHI called ‘FOCUS.’ Barry has been working with KAHI News investigating the Pioneer Community Energy switch-over. The following is the latest in a series of investigative reports Barry is doing for KAHI Radio and his FOCUS program.


“Pioneer Community Energy” the Community Choice Aggregation (which is defined as a cluster of Placer County, and the cities of Colfax, Auburn, Loomis, Rocklin and Lincoln) referred to as (CCA), a Placer county “Public Agency,” is positioned to take over the provision of power to Placer County Residents and businesses in February.

There are many fronts moving CCA activity throughout all of California. There are eight operational Community Choice Aggregate’s (CCA) or Community Choice Energy entities (CCE). There are nine (9) anticipated Launches in 2018 including Placer County PIONEER, and sixteen (16) Cities, Counties or other agencies exploring or are in progress.

The next Board meeting for the Pioneer CCA is scheduled for Monday, January 8, 2018 at the City Hall downstairs room in Auburn, CA at 3:00 PM. A complete listing of the previous board meeting by Pioneer is now available on their WEB site as


The December 4, 2017 board meeting for Pioneer Community Energy has one interesting item listed as:

ITEM 3:  Approved an Agreement with CalPine Energy Solutions, LLC and Authorize the Executive Director to Execute the Agreement in the amount of $1.15 per meter per month for an initial term ending December 31, 2020 with automatic renewals for successive one (1) year terms unless, one hundred eighty (180) calendar days in advance of the end of the then existing term, either party does not wish to renew the term of the Agreement for service related to:

  1. a) Electronic Data Exchange
  2. b) Customer Information System
  3. c) Billing Administration
  4. d) Customer Call Center
  5. e) Qualified Reporting Entity (QRE) f) Settlement Quality Meter Data (SQMD)

MOTION: Gilbert/Ucovich/Unanimous Vote 7:0 AYES: Montgomery, Douglass, Uhler, Maki, Janda

The initial information in the letters and the plan we referenced in the earlier reports said the billing, and payments would remain with PG&E. We will ask for more clarification on whether this means that the billing and collections will eventually move over to Pioneer CCA and how that will be handled.

In checking who is Calpine Energy Solutions, LLC, here is the “About Us” on their Web Site.

Calpine Energy Solutions, LLC., is a subsidiary of Calpine Corporation, a Fortune 500 company and America’s largest generator of electricity from natural gas and geothermal resources. Calpine’s clean, efficient, modern and flexible fleet uses advanced technologies to generate power in a low-carbon and environmentally responsible manner. Please visit www.calpine.com to learn more about why Calpine is a generation ahead – today.

As one of the top retail energy marketers in the country, Calpine Solutions supplies natural gas, power and associated energy and risk management services to our customers throughout the United States. We are a licensed retail energy provider in every deregulated state in the US, including California, Oregon, Arizona and Virginia. We tailor our products and services to capture the benefits of customer choice while protecting our customers from unexpected increases in energy prices. Our cutting edge risk management programs are flexible and designed to meet the unique needs of our customers while providing a wide range of solutions to help meet or beat their budget goals for energy expenses.

So, it appears that PIONEER CCA is hiring services from a major corporation; A 500 Fortune Company, Investor owned; and is the largest Generator of Electricity using “Green” resources, in twenty-two (22) markets:

Listed: Arizona; Baja California, and Mexico; California; Connecticut; Delaware; Washington DC; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; Ohio; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Texas; Virginia and Washington states.

There is another report that was issued on January 5, 2018 by: Stephen Frank’s California Political News and Views:  WILL ELECTRIC FREEDOM GET A MAJOR DELAY?  The California Public Utilities Commission has an agenda item for their scheduled meeting on January 11, 2018, (next Thursday) to put at least a temporary halt to the establishment and/or expansion of Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs around the state. These programs allow cities or counties to let electricity customers choose whether to stick with the existing utilities or switch to a locally-run public entity that buys power from generating companies at the source and brings it to customers via utility company lines.

A yes vote by the PUC could put a real wrench into all this activity for a year or maybe longer.

There has been a lot of discussion at why the state of California has set a course that appears to be trying to destroy the basic Public Utility organizations that have over centuries created, established, and invested money into a major generation system, distribution system, and Utility Companies that provides these vital services to homes, business and governments. PG&E was once before driven into bankruptcy, and if the other major utilities in the state were to have the same result, then how could power and other energy be transported to the homes. These CAA’s can buy from anyone, but how does the energy get to your home and business? If the Utilities are forced out of business, then who owns the Towers, right of ways, wires, transformers, meters, switches, distribution centers, etc. Worse yet, these facilities are getting older and need to be replaced, and how do we get that done, and who pays for it? These are serious questions that need to be addressed before we sign over our power systems just to save maybe 3% in power costs per month which for the basic home is about $2.03 per month.

It is not just about the generation, but the delivery of energy into the homes, business, schools, street lights and others that must be considered as these moves continue. If our infrastructure (Towers, lines, meters, etc.) age out, we face a collapse of our energy that would take years or centuries to replace. This is what Puerto Rico learned following last year’s hurricanes that wiped out their utilities due to neglect and ignorance of maintenance. We really need to think this out and not get sucked into a short-term savings of almost nothing and some period in time in the future collapse our entire energy system. Isn’t this what our enemies always threaten, kill our power grids, communication systems etc.

I’M Barry Stigers, the program is FOCUS. We are broadcast on KAHI AM 950 Radio from Auburn California on Thursdays at 8:45 AM and 4:30 PM each week.  We also stream on KAHI.COM, and soon will also be hear on FM 104.5.

2 Responses to 01/07/2017 Pioneer Community Energy Update

  1. Lonnie Essig Reply

    January 10, 2018 at 9:09 am

    People need to think about history and the energy crisis that was politically created. Look at the back of your PG&E bill and ask yourself what ? Is the chage identified as DWR.
    This charge is a result of Government attempting to force changes in the Energy market.
    DWR was assigned the responsibility to stabilize the electrity supply in CA. The result was a formation of a State Buracracy called CERS. This organization with the assistance of hundreds of hired consultants and engineers formulated purchase contracts with multiple utilities. While PG&E became bankrupt and massive changes were forced into the energy producers market by false shortage claims. The in depth review will educate everyone that government control results in disaster.
    When the dust settled DWR was stuck with long term contracts that we are paying for. The utilities reorganized and are again profitable all at our expense due in part to governmental interference in the market.
    I am of the opinion that Pioneer is just another government control of free enterprise.

    With the massive number of solar powered system installations in California the electrical grid control becomes more and more difficult. The grid control is the responsibility of CA ISO, which is an organization developed by CA government for stability. However CA ISO is not a power producer and must contol the stability based on multiple utility supplies. This entire situation is complicated by the inadequate transmission system of the grid. CA has a major congestion problem with the grid.
    I am of the opinion that is these systems continue to develop the PUC must put a hold on further community developments.

  2. Hank Skawinski Reply

    January 11, 2018 at 11:13 am

    Re the DATE on the above article… I must assume it’s really January 7, 2018, not 2017… correct? Otherwise, you have a time machine that obtained the board minutes of 12/4/17 a year earlier!

    It’s OK — I’m still writing 2017 instead of 2018 on a lot of things; takes a while for the brain to adapt.

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