The City of San Diego is Marching Toward 100% Renewable Energy
There's a LOT of history to San Diego's efforts to implement Community Choice. The City of San Diego is on the cusp of voting on a Community Choice Energy program, now that we are nearing the final vote, it is worth taking a look back to how we got here. There have been countless community meetings, discussions at planning boards, presentations at advisory boards and city council meetings that have discussed Community Choice in anticipation of the vote. Lets take a look at the major milestones that got us to this point:
The City of San Diego Passes A Monumental Climate Action Plan- 2015
The City of San Diego passed an ambitious Climate Action Plan (CAP) in 2015, which among other greenhouse gas emission reduction measures, social equity commitments and climate resiliency goals, committed the City to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2035. With the passing of the CAP the City of San Diego became one of the largest cities in the country to commit to using 100% renewable energy, since San Diego's commitment countless other cities have followed suite. The CAP determined that the City would achieve the goal of 100% renewable energy through Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) or "another program", the city has spent the last three years studying the feasibility of Community Choice and the viability of other options.
What Are the Options? San Diego Issues a Request for Proposal- 2017
To determine all options that were available to the City to meet its 100% renewable energy CAP goal the City issued a Request for Proposal in 2017 to solicit responses from private enterprises as well as the local utility, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), on how the City could meet that goal. The City received submissions from numerous respondents including SDG&E. Upon review of the responses City staff concluded that as the local utility SDG&E was the only other potentially viable alternative to Community Choice Energy. The response from SDG&E can be read here. A third party review of the SDG&E plan concluded the proposal, "raises more questions than it answers", and can be seen here.
Community Choice Energy Feasibility Study- 2017
As a preliminary step in exploring Community Choice Energy a municipality typically completes an in-depth financial analysis to determine the financial viability of a CCE program. The City of San Diego partnered with Willdan Financial Services, a consulting firm with extensive experience in undertaking financial reviews of CCE programs, to complete the feasibility study. The study concluded that the City of San Diego could establish a CCE program that would meet the 100% renewable energy goal and offer rates that are competitive to SDG&E. A third party analysis completed by MRW & Associates raised further questions to be addressed but backed the fundamental conclusions of the feasibility analysis.
Community Choice Energy Business Plan- 2018
The City of San Diego is currently developing a Community Choice Energy Business Development Plan which will include program goals, market conditions, management structures, operations, rate setting, back office logistics, program opportunities, risks and risk management, financial structure and start up structure. Essentially, the business plan will paint a much clearer picture of what CCE would look like in San Diego by laying out a detailed plan on how the City would implement a CCE program as well as providing a more in depth financial analysis.
City Council Votes- 2019
The final step in approving a Community Choice Energy program will require the vote on CCE by the city council. Currently, the City of San Diego is scheduled to vote on CCE in 2019 following the completion of the business plan. If a resolution passes in favor of CCE, the City will then begin with the first phases of formation and implementation.