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Pomona Choice Energy Calls on Tripepi Smith for Commercial Mailers

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In an effort to generate engagement among small-to-medium commercial businesses with a new, clean energy solution, Pomona Choice Energy, an associate member of the California Choice Energy Authority (CalChoice), called on Tripepi Smith—its energy communications partner since April 2019—to create a series of mailers to inform businesses of how Pomona Choice Energy offers green power content and local control.

“We started Pomona Choice Energy to help meet our sustainability goals and to gain local control. Once we have a solid reserve, we plan to use the program’s revenues to invest back into our community such as incentives to promote solar installations,” said Mayor Tim Sandoval. “Tripepi Smith has been instrumental in providing communications support to inform our residential customers. The commercial mailers will provide vital information that businesses need to choose the optimal plan.”

Director of Operations Katherine Griffiths and Business Analyst Karen Villaseñor lead the effort with design support from Business Analyst Sara Madsen, who developed Pomona Choice Energy’s logo, a nod to Pomona’s citrus industry heritage and iconic craftsman architecture. Sara also collaborated with Senior Business Analyst Melanie James to build and launch the CCA’s website less than 30 days after the Pomona City Council voted to proceed, and created four mailers to provide community members with information on renewable energy choices, the benefits of Pomona Choice Energy and the terms and conditions.

As with all potential Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) customers, Pomona residents received four informational notices, two before and two after the start of service in October 2020. Pomona Choice Energy offers three residential plan options: a 35% renewable energy plan, a 100% renewable energy plan and a net metering option for customers who generate their own solar or wind power.

“The Pomona Choice Energy project represents Tripepi Smith’s first start-to-finish CCA launch,” said Katherine. “We are particularly proud that, as of their October 1, 2020, launch date, Pomona Choice Energy’s residential customer opt-out rate was 4.35 percent, well below the seven percent industry standard for new CCAs. Community engagement has been so strong, in fact, that the nascent CCA had to go back and purchase more power to serve their customers.”

Last month, Tripepi Smith collaborated with Pomona Choice Energy to develop an Annual Joint Rate Comparison, required by the California Public Utilities Commission and produced in partnership with Southern California Edison. Ongoing efforts include operational and creative website support, strategic communications guidance, social media content development and a customer newsletter, launching this September.

Tripepi Smith has a strong record of developing constituent engagement and education strategies and tactics for Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), including Clean Energy Alliance (Cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar and Solana Beach), California Choice Energy Authority, Lancaster Choice Energy, Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy and Energy for Palmdale’s Independent Choice, as well as Pomona Choice Energy.

“Our team has built CCAs’ branding from a feasibility study to launch and beyond, effectively communicating the value and intricacies of CCA to a wide variety of audiences for nine unique CCA programs,” said Katherine. “Tripepi Smith’s subject matter expertise in this area is unparalleled. We are deeply familiar with the complex regulatory requirements with which CCAs’ communications materials must comply and have unique insight into the strategies and tactics necessary to reduce residential customer opt-out rates and ensure the greatest success for the new entity.”

Last year, Tripepi Smith supported CalChoice and its associate members in providing timely, easy-to-understand messages for their customers as the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) instituted California’s first supply-related blackouts in 20 years.

“More than 800,000 Californians lost power due to CAISO-initiated rolling blackouts,” said Karen. “Although CAISO reports being cautiously optimistic about meeting demand as temperatures rise, Tripepi Smith is prepared to support our CCA clients by providing timely, accurate information about energy-saving measures in the event of an emergency.”

About Pomona Choice Energy

Pomona Choice Energy is a locally-managed, not-for-profit program created by the City of Pomona to provide electricity to residents and local businesses. The program offers clean energy at low, competitive rates and is an alternative to Southern California Edison. In October 2020, Pomona Choice Energy began Phase 1 to provide power to residential customers. In June 2021, Pomona Choice Energy began Phase 2 to provide power to small to medium commercial businesses.

About Tripepi Smith

Tripepi Smith is a California-based marketing, technology and public affairs firm that serves for-profit, nonprofit and public agencies. Its unique mix of marketing and technology prowess provides a competitive advantage to agencies seeking to leverage the internet to achieve their communication goals. The firm provides full content creation services, including: ghost writing, collateral development, photography, video production, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing campaigns and website design and execution. Tripepi Smith clients include: City of American Canyon, City of Culver City, City of Cupertino, City of Daly City, City of Duarte, City of Grover Beach, City of Santa Paula, City of Indian Wells, City of La Cañada Flintridge, City of Lake Forest, City of Livermore, City of Napa, City of Paramount, City of Martinez, City of Tracy, City of Vallejo, CalChoice Energy Authority, California Joint Powers Insurance Authority, Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency, Santa Clara County Fire Department, Costa Mesa Sanitary District, Rowland Water District, California Contract Cities Association, California City Management Foundation, Renne Public Law Group, Bob Hall & Associates and Climatec Energy Services.