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Community choice energy is a rapidly growing alternative to monopoly, profit-driven utilities. Courtesy photo
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Customer choice, competitive rates for cleaner power

Officially launched in 2021, two community choice aggregators (CCAs) are bringing choice in energy providers and cleaner energy to residents in the region for the first time.

San Diego Community Power (SDCP) and Clean Energy Alliance (CEA) recently joined the 23 other successful programs throughout California, reforming power buying in favor of transparency, accountability, and reliability. CCAs are local energy providers established by state law and managed by local elected officials and community representatives.

For the first time in our region’s history, families, businesses, and municipalities in Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar, and Carlsbad (among other cities) have a future-focused choice in energy providers and a clear path to reach 100 percent renewable energy.

Per state law, Encinitas residents will be automatically enrolled in the money and environment saving program with SDCP, with the option to opt out at any time. Carlsbad, Del Mar, and Solana Beach have already been enrolled in CEA.

Organized as community-driven not-for-profits, CCAs are committed to investing in local communities through renewable energy development projects and community aid programs. While generating revenue in support of shareholder returns drives the local investor-owned utility, both CCAs are focused on clean technology innovation, creating local jobs, and equitable energy programs.

“The launch of CCAs in our region has been a game-changer for customer choice, fighting climate change, and creating healthier and more equitable communities for future generations,” said Joe Mosca, Encinitas Deputy Mayor, and SDCP Board Chair. “We are excited to usher in a new era for our communities and to do our part to reduce the impacts of climate change by providing greener energy options.”

Both CCAs offer customers choices for competitively priced renewable energy ranging from 50 percent to 100 percent renewable compared to the 31 percent offered by SDG&E. The CCAs buy greener energy on behalf of customers and SDG&E continues to deliver power, distribute billing, and provide ongoing grid maintenance. The CCA renewable energy portfolios come from wind, solar, and battery storage. Committed to meeting and beating state reliability standards, CCAs also rigorously vet energy sources and work with the local utility to ensure reliability in the energy delivery infrastructure.

“As a non-profit provider, we are completely focused on providing cleaner energy while investing in our communities,” said Kristi Becker, chair of the CEA Board of Directors and Solana Beach councilmember. “CCAs provide the only real path we have to meet our climate goals and ensure vibrant communities today and as a legacy for future generations.”

Community choice energy is a rapidly growing alternative to monopoly, profit-driven utilities. CCAs were enabled by state legislation as part of the solution to the 2001 energy crisis, allowing local communities to control the energy they buy and address constraints on competition that contributed to the problem. Locally elected officials govern CCAs with consistent input from a Community Advisory Council. All decisions on energy procurement, rates, and reinvestment are made at publicly noticed open meetings, giving member city residents and businesses a voice in their energy choices.

There are currently 23 CCAs operating successfully across California and providing reliable service to more than 11 million customers in more than 200 cities and counties.

SDCP Launching Residential Service in Encinitas April 1

SDCP launched municipal, commercial, and industrial service in 2021 for its five founding cities of Encinitas, San Diego, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, and La Mesa. Residential service launched in Imperial Beach in February 2022 and will roll out in Encinitas in April. Nearly 700,000 local residents will be receiving clean power SDCP when enrollment is complete at the end of May. National City and the unincorporated areas of San Diego also recently joined SDCP with service rollouts planned for 2023.   

CEA Serves the Residents, Businesses, and Municipalities of Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Carlsbad

CEA began providing clean energy to the cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, and Solana Beach in May 2021. With the recent additions of Escondido and San Marcos, CEA is now made up of five associate members. Further expansion is on the horizon as the cities of Oceanside, Vista, and San Clemente consider launching CCA programs and joining CEA.

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