Community Choice for San Diego? An Awesome Idea!
Regrettably, its On Hold AGAIN.
San Diego's first Feasibility Study on Community Choice was commissioned by the County of San Diego and delivered in 2005. See the Report here.
The findings showed that a Community Choice program would have started saving county residents through lower rates -- in 2007.
In 2005, the Supervisors chose not to act. What if they HAD? San Diegans would have pocketed 10 years of electricity savings.
In 2017, the County has another opportunity to move forward. Let's not wait any longer!
County Staff recommended an updated Community Choice Feasibility Study, as one measure in the County's "Comprehensive Renewable Energy Plan (CREP)". (Further CREP Background below)
SDED and many others urged strong support of this measure. See SDED's comments. Nonetheless, on February 15, the Supervisors voted NO on the CCA measure, by a vote of 3-1.
"County rejects proposal to study alternative electricity program"
The CREP contains many worthy steps, but only one step does more to promote clean energy and lower cost savings than all the rest combined. That step is the Community Choice Energy (CCE) program.
CCE, also referred to as Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), is a program that gives consumers a lower cost, cleaner energy choice other than the local utility monopoly. The local utility monopoly still makes its money with its ongoing maintenance of the county's infrastructure. Other California cities and counties, examples Marin and Sonoma Counties, in California have successfully adopted these clean energy cost saving CCE programs.
Consumers have seen reductions in the cost of electricity offered with these CCE programs. Not only that, but consumers can choose between electricity packages that can range from 30% to as much as 100% renewable energy. In some cases, even the 100% greenhouse gas free option is cheaper than the standard utility offering. This is because, for the last few years, wind and solar have been the two cheapest forms of new electricity generation, even without subsidies. Better yet, wind and solar costs are still dropping.
The Bottom Line of Community Choice: This powerful tool is the most cost-effective mechanism through which jurisdictions can achieve many objectives their residents and voters want:
- Energy-savings and often rates - resulting in lower energy bills for residents and businesses
- Choices of electricity products and prices
- Local control over electricity decisions
- Proven and often dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
- All these benefits at the least-possible public expense.