San Diego County moves to join a community choice energy program

The· San Diego County Supervisory Board Late Tuesday night, the county’s unincorporated region takes a step towards joining one of two community selective aggregation programs in the region that act as an alternative to San Diego Gas & Electric for energy contract purchases. I did.

With 4-1 votes, the Board adopted a series of revised Guiding Principles and instructed the county to begin discussions. San Diego Community Power — CCA in 5 cities that started customer alignment last month — and Clean Energy Alliance — CCA consisting of North County cities Delmar, Solana Beach and Carlsbad, which will go live next month.

“I think the big point here is that we really want to focus on the benefits of holding the reins of energy production,” joined Board Chairman Nathan Fletcher when submitting the item. Said supervisor Terra Lawson Remer.

The Board has approved six principles that make up a joint power body that the county will sign with the future CCA. Principles include providing “cost competitiveness” compared to SDG & E rates, signing contracts to achieve 100% renewable electricity on the books by 2030, and adopting general wage requirements. I did.

“I think this is in line with the good intention of moving us forward,” Fletcher said.

Supervisor Joel Anderson cites a recent power outage in Texas and called for the addition of the word “reliability” to the board-approved guiding principles.

“Boldly, we need clean energy, it’s reliable, and it’s the least competitive,” Anderson said.

Supervisor Jim Desmond, who opposed the formation of the CCA when the board addressed the issue in 2019, voted only against it.

“If we have (CCA), we should have ours and generate our energy, I definitely believe it,” he said. Said.

Desmond was also concerned about labor requirements that seemed to be “too close to the requirements of the project collective bargaining agreement.” This is a collective bargaining agreement with one or more trade unions that establish employment conditions for a particular project before employment takes place.

The CCA was created by the California State Legislature to boost cleaner energy sources such as wind and solar at speeds equal to or less than investor-owned utilities and purchase electricity contracts for specific communities. To do. The decision is made by government officials, not by the incumbent utility.

The Community Energy Program aims to use the revenue generated from customers in addition to purchasing electricity to invest in local renewable energy projects.

However, the establishment of CCA does not mean that traditional utilities are gone. For example, SDG & E will continue to perform all tasks other than purchasing electricity, such as transmitting and distributing energy and billing customers.

San Diego Community Power (SDCP for short) consists of the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, Lamesa, Encinitas and Imperial Beach.

SDCP registered and went live with approximately 700 local government customers last month, adding 72,000 commercial and industrial customers in June and 695,000 residential customers in January next year. With a total of approximately 767,700 customers, SDCP is considered the second largest CCA in California.

SDCP Top Executive Sent a letter to the supervisory board Before the meeting on Tuesday, the group said they were looking forward to talking to the county. “The proposed guiding principles largely reflect SDCP’s own principles,” the letter said.

Two members of the Clean Energy Alliance (CEA) called during the public comment period to make their own proposals.

“We look forward to discussing with county staff how CEA can help the county achieve its climate goals by joining the Clean Energy Alliance,” said interim CEO Barbara Boswell.

CEA will serve approximately 58,000 customers by the end of its June deployment. The Alliance plans to offer a default program that provides the average home customer with an estimated rate as follows: 2.2% cheaper than SDG & E, There are customers who can choose cleaner and more expensive programs.

According to SDCP officials, prices vary by class, but one plan is available. About 2-3 percent cheaper than SDG & E Another option is a power contract that reaches 100% clean energy, which costs about the same as SDG & E.

California’s first CCA was founded in 2010 in Marin County. Since then, 23 CCA have been opened to serve more than 10 million customers.

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