Huntington Beach

Pulling the plug on OC Power

HUNTiNGTON BEACH is pulling out of the Orange County Power Authority (Flickr/Todd Lapin).

Huntington Beach will be the latest government agency to leave the troubled Orange County Power Authority.

At Tuesday night’s meeting of the City Council a motion to direct the city manager to work with the city attorney to provide notice to withdraw from the OCPA passed 4-3 with Councilmembers Dan Kalmick, Natalie Moser and Rhonda Bolton opposed.

The OCPA is a “Community Choice Agreegation” established in 2020 as a way for local governments to have more control over procuring electricity with the prospect of lower rates and emphasizing “green” energy from renewable sources.

It launched on April 1, 2022 with Buena Park, Fullerton, Huntington Beach and Irvine. However complaints about OCPA led to an audit by the California State Auditor. The report, issued in February, listed several “deficiencies” including:

  • engaging in contracting that was neither competitive nor sufficiently accountable
  • deliberately and willfully circumventing the state’s competitive bidding practices;
  • not consistently or appropriately addressed or responded to public records requests;
  • not hiring sufficient and/or qualified staff to oversee its functions;
  • accountability of its promised efficiencies and functions is lacking.

Additionally, the California Public Utilities Commission levied a fine of $1.96 million against OCPA in April for not purchasing enough electricity to avoid service interruption the previous summer.

The OCPA board has sought to make reforms and fire CEO Brian Probolsky, who will remain in his post until the end of May.

The County of Orange decided to leave OCPA last December and Irvine is reportedly considering to leave as well.

3 replies »

  1. Poor job educating customers about benefits of signing up with the company. Nobody knows what are the savings compared with SCE. Lack of knowledge how to opt out of program.

  2. A city should never turn over their control to some government entity…hands on is the only way to know what’s happening. A person in charge that is qualified assures your city officials know whats going on.

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