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Calif. CCA Central Coast Community Energy receives “A” issuer credit rating

October 22, 2020

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
October 22, 2020

Central Coast Community Energy on Oct. 16 received an “A” issuer credit rating from Standard & Poor’s, which Central Coast Community Energy said is the highest rating received by a California community choice aggregator (CCA).

S&P’s issuer credit rating and “stable” outlook is an independent assessment of the CCA’s operational and financial strategies over the long term, “confirming the agency’s economic stability and footing for future success,” Central Coast Community Energy said in a news release.

Central Coast Community Energy “is proud to receive the first ‘A’ investment grade credit rating among California CCAs. This is a testament to the hard work and forward thinking” the CCA’s staff and leadership have demonstrated since launching in 2018, said Central Coast Community Energy Policy Board Chair and Santa Cruz County Supervisor Bruce McPherson.

“In that short time this agency has set a very high bar in terms of financial strength, operational responsibility, innovative energy procurement and energy programs, not to mention extending CCA benefits to the entire Central Coast,” he said.

The rating will allow the CCA “to embark on an even more impactful path towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions through local energy programs and energy procurement,” and it helps to ensure the “longevity and continued success” of the CCA on behalf of its communities.

Central Coast Community Energy said that the rating recognizes the CCA’s stability within the California CCA market and the strong socio-economic conditions of its growing service area.  

Central Coast Community Energy serves more than 400,000 customers throughout the Central Coast, including agriculture, commercial and residential customers in communities located within Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz counties.

S&P’s rating action emphasized the CCA’s strong economic fundamentals, comprehensive governance structure, robust energy risk management policy, and experienced executive leadership as contributing factors to its being the first CCA to receive an ‘A’ rating and “stable” outlook.

The rating enables the CCA to continue providing electric service and innovative energy programs at competitive rates to its 33 member agencies and over 400,000 agriculture, commercial, and residential customers, Central Coast Community Energy said.

In addition, the rating will aid in increasing the number of counterparties competing for Central Coast Community Energy wholesale contracts, lower transaction costs, and make innovative financing structures accessible to help the CCA continue to develop solutions to California’s greatest energy challenges, Central Coast Community Energy said.

The American Public Power Association has initiated a new category of membership for community choice aggregation programs.

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