Information About Clean Power Alliance Electricity Rates in Ventura County, Conejo Valley

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As like many of you, I’ve received a number of notifications from the Clean Power Alliance and due to my sheer lack of time, desire, interest, energy, procrastination and/or (fill in the blank), have waited until now to actually investigate what this means.

So let me impart my newfound wisdom to you.

Clean Power Alliance (CPA) of Southern California was established in 2017 to provide cost competitive “clean” electricity to residents in certain parts of Los Angeles County and several other cities. It quickly grew to 31 communities, including our local Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Simi Valley, Ventura and unincorporated Ventura County.

What CPA does is purchase renewable, clean energy, while Southern California Edison (SCE) will continue to deliver it and bill for it.

Each member city that opted in to this program established a default rate option for residents to acquire electricity from CPA via SCE. This is just a default rate. You can change it (see below). The CPA website describes these rates at cleanpoweralliance.org/rate-options/residential-rates:

  • Lean Power - costs 1-2% less than SCE’s default rate (Lean Power provides 36% renewable energy content at the lowest possible cost)

  • Clean Power - comparable to SCE’s default rate (0-1% savings) (Clean Power provides 50% renewable energy content)

  • 100% Green Power - at most, 7-9% premium to SCE’s default rate (as the name indicates, this is 100% renewable energy content)

CPA further noted that SCE has proposed a double digit increase to 2019 rates to make up for a budget shortfall. If these increases are approved, they will likely take effect in March/April 2019 and CPA rates will also change accordingly.

Your Default CPA Power Product

Here are the “default” power products from CPA that local agencies in the Conejo Valley and Greater Ventura County areas have selected:

  • Lean Power (36%) - Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Simi Valley

  • Clean Power (50%) - Malibu, Moorpark

  • 100% Green Power - Ojai, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Ventura, Unincorporated Ventura County

You can verify your own rate default option at cleanpoweralliance.org/rate-options.

Changing Your Default or Opting Out

As mentioned above, you are not required to stick with the default option. You can switch to a different option at any time. Do so as follows:

  • Go to cleanpoweralliance.org/rate-options and log in, using your 10 digit SCE customer number (remove the dashes), last name and zip code.

  • There you will see your account status and the other rate options. You may opt down, or up, as it were, to one of the other options, based on your current default.

You may opt out if you’d like, but be aware of the fine print: If you opt out, you will be charged a one-time account processing fee by SCE and will be prevented by SCE from returning to CPA for a minimum of 12 months.

The City of Thousand Oaks provides additional information about CPA at THIS LINK. One other item of note on that page for solar users is “Although applications for onsite solar will still need to go through SCE for interconnection to the grid, CPA will pay customers at a higher rate than SCE for any excess solar energy generated.” Sounds pretty good to me.

More Info:

Clean Power Alliance: cleanpoweralliance.org

So Cal Edison: www.sce.com

MyFreeTaxes.com Offers Free Income Tax Preparation Service to Eligible Americans

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MyFreeTaxes.com offers free federal and state tax preparation and filing services both online and in person to eligible Americans across the country. 

MyFreeTaxes national and local partners also provide taxpayers with eligibility information about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other tax credits to help them keep more of what they earn.

Individuals and families earning less than $66,000 in 2018 are eligible to use MyFreeTaxes.com for their 2018 tax returns. MyFreeTaxes.com tax filing software is provided by H&R Block®.

Or if you made $54,000 or less in 2018 and would like help in preparing your tax returns, click this link for Ventura County area Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs.

Join the Audience at a TV Show Taping in the Los Angeles Area

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Hollywood is only 40 minutes from Thousand Oaks (depending on traffic). How many of you have been to a TV show taping?  It’s free and can be a lot of fun! Out of town guests? They'll love the experience of sitting in a live audience! Talk shows, game shows, sitcoms, you name it!  Here are some websites to visit to track down free seats in the Los Angeles area, along with currently available shows as of January 2019:

On-Camera Audiences www.ocatv.com - Currently available shows include American’s Got Talent, Beat Shazam, Celebrity Big Brother, Dr. Phil, Rent Live, The Price is Right and more.

Audiences Unlimited www.tvtickets.com - Currently available shows include Dr. Phil, Just Roll With It, Last Man Standing, The Big Bang Theory, Mom and many others.

TVTix.com www.tvtix.com - Currently available shows include Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, The Odd Couple with Matthew Perry, 2 Broke Girls and more.

1iota.com www.1iota.com - The Voice, Talking Dead, The Talk, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Late Late Show with James Corden, Steve and others.

Or you can go directly to a show's website to request tickets...though usually there is a long wait. Here are a few:

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon: www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show/tickets

The Ellen Show: send.ellentv.com/tickets

Conan: teamcoco.com/tickets

Note: Each show has different age minimums, locations, timing and rules, so make sure to read the fine print. For example, if you want to be on The Price is Right, you must be 18 years of age or older and arrive 4 hours in advance of the 2 hour taping. That could be a long day!  Wheel of Fortune, filmed at the Sony Studios in Culver City, however, allows audience participants as young as eight.

Upcoming 5K, 10K and Other Ventura County Area Running and Fitness Events

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Start training for upcoming 5K, 10K, half marathon and other Ventura County running and fitness events! We've made it easy for you to find a local race by tracking local events right here. So go on, get moving, lace up those shoes and start training! CLICK HERE for local running groups and clubs.  Training for a marathon? Check out 26.2 Training Tips for Your First Marathon!

CONEJO JOE'S TRAINING BLOG

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Compilation of Great Trails and Hikes In and Around Ventura County

FIRE DAMAGE: Note that numerous trails and open space areas were severely damaged by the Woolsey and Hill Fires of November 2018 and the Thomas Fire of December 2017. Update 1/11/19: All trails on this list have been reopened as of today, with the exception of Charmlee Wilderness Park, Escondido Canyon Park, Oakbrook Regional Park, Conejo Canyons Bridge, Hawk Canyon Trail, Bark Park Trail in Calabasas.

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Looking for a good hike around Ventura County and nearby areas? We've highlighted a number of our favorite hikes in the Do Something section of Conejo Valley Guide.

HIKE TO A CONEJO VALLEY BENCH WITH A VIEW

HIKE TO AUTOMOTIVE RELICS IN THE CONEJO VALLEY OPEN SPACE

SEVEN FLAT, STROLLER FRIENDLY TRAILS IN THE CONEJO VALLEY

DOG-FRIENDLY TRAILS IN THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS

Reminder: Please refrain from using the trails during rain events and afterwards, until they have dried. Doing otherwise causes damage to the trails.

Lone Oak at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa

Lone Oak at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa

Lynnmere Open Space views to the west.

Lynnmere Open Space views to the west.

Views from the Ray Miller Trail in Malibu.

Danielson Road trail in the Boney Mountain Wilderness.

Danielson Road trail in the Boney Mountain Wilderness.

Views of Simi Valley from the peak of Mt. McCoy in Simi Valley.

Views of Simi Valley from the peak of Mt. McCoy in Simi Valley.

Sunset Hills Trail in Thousand Oaks.

Sunset Hills Trail in Thousand Oaks.

Tree encampment along Los Padres Trail in Thousand Oaks.

Tree encampment along Los Padres Trail in Thousand Oaks.

Things to Do With the Kids in Ventura County When It's Wet Outside

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It doesn't rain nearly often enough here in Ventura County, but when it does, that's a great excuse for staying inside. You are in the right place as we have compiled this extensive list of well over 200 indoor activities from Agoura to Simi Valley to Ventura and everywhere in between!

Arts and Crafts

These are just a sampling of the various activities and events in Conejo Valley Guide, so make sure to explore and find something fun to do!

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Seven Flat, Stroller and Family Friendly Hikes in the Conejo Valley

There is a ring of about 15,000 acres of open space with 140 miles of trails for public use surrounding the Conejo Valley. All too often on the Conejo Valley Guide Facebook Page we hear requests for which trails are "stroller friendly" and/or suitable for young children. Here is a sampling of some of the more popular ones in the area.

Wildwood Park to many is the single greatest spot for family hikes and stroller-friendly trails. With 14 trails covering 17 miles, including the popular hike to Paradise Falls and the teepee as well as some wide, relatively flat sections along the Mesa Trail towards Lizard Rock.

It takes a bit of driving via the Norwegian Grade and Santa Rosa Road to get there, but the Conejo Canyons Bridge in the Western Plateau area of the Conejo Open Space leads to several miles of nice, flat, well-maintained family-friendly trails leading to tree-canopied picnic areas.

Shaded picnic area off the Hawk Canyon Trail from the Conejo Canyons Bridge

Shaded picnic area off the Hawk Canyon Trail from the Conejo Canyons Bridge

The 1 mile Spring Canyon Trail is a mostly flat trail that runs from Lynn Oaks Park in Newbury Park to the Los Robles Trail.  There are some moderately hills but with a park nearby, makes for a fun little excursion with the little ones.

Speaking of the Los Robles Trail, another great little hike to take with the kids is the Oak Creek Canyon Loop Trail. The first 4/10th of a mile of the trail, accessible off of Greenmeadow Avenue in Thousand Oaks, is the Oak Creek Canyon Whole Access Interpretive Trail. This is a nice, shady, flat trail picnic benches along the path. The remainder of the loop is not quite as stroller friendly, with a couple moderately steep sections that can be navigated on foot.

Picnic trails and shade abound at the Oak Creek Canyon Interpretative Trail.

Picnic trails and shade abound at the Oak Creek Canyon Interpretative Trail.

The Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa area managed by the National Park Service in Newbury Park has over several miles of trails to explore, most of which are flat and stroller-friendly. The Satwiwa Loop Trail takes you around the area and the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center makes for a fun stop with the family when open on weekends. 

Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyons offer great family hiking opportunities. While there's definitely hills surrounding these canyons, try the Cheeseboro Canyon Trail, the 4 to 5 mile main artery into the park. Flat and kid/stroller friendly it is. Also try the Doubletree Trailhead connector to the Palo Comado Trail. Flat, fun and scenic.

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Although you will encounter pretty significant hills in the Lang Ranch/Woodridge Open Space in Thousand Oaks, it is worth checking out with the kids for its wide open trails and interesting sandstone rock formations. If you are really strong, strollers are possible here, but do know that you will encounter some hills like the hill shown in the image below.

This hill in the Lang Ranch/Woodridge Open Space at the Autumn Ridge Trail is a bit daunting but worth the climb.

This hill in the Lang Ranch/Woodridge Open Space at the Autumn Ridge Trail is a bit daunting but worth the climb.

We're going to throw a bonus trail into the mix. The several miles of hiking trails in the Oakbrook Regional Park Archaeological Area in Thousand Oaks is an outstanding place for a flat, picturesque and oak-tree canopied place for a short hike with the kids. The Chumash village reproduction is an interesting place to explore with the kids.

For a more comprehensive compilation of trails in the Conejo Valley and throughout Ventura County, visit THIS LINK.