The Carlsbad City Council gave the green light Tuesday night to create a Community Choice Aggregation program and establish a Joint Powers Authority called the Clean Energy Alliance. The City Council’s support will give Carlsbad community members a choice of where their energy comes from and help the city achieve its Climate Action Plan goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Mayor Matt Hall and Councilmember Cori Schumacher worked to create the program as the members of the City Council’s Ad-Hoc Subcommittee on Community Choice Energy.
State law allows local governments to form Community Choice Energy programs that offer an alternative to investor-owned utilities, such as San Diego Gas & Electric. Under this model, local governments purchase and manage their community's electric power supply, and the existing utility continues to distribute the energy to customers.
The City Council approved the city’s participation in a community choice energy technical feasibility study in 2017. It showed these programs were financially feasible and provided a pathway to clean, renewable energy choices at competitive rates, saving ratepayers up to 2% a year.
Community Choice Energy is one way the City of Carlsbad is working toward its Climate Action Plan, long-term goals to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in the community. The plan’s goal for 2035 is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to at least 49 percent below Carlsbad's baseline 2005 values and by 2050, to meet the state’s required goal to reduce these emissions by 80 percent of the statewide 1990 emissions.
The City of Del Mar voted to join Carlsbad in the Clean Energy Alliance on Oct. 7. The cities of Solana Beach, Santee and the County of San Diego plan to discuss joining the joint powers authority this month.
All founding members will equally share the initial startup costs and have equal voting rights in future decisions.
The Carlsbad City Council appointed Councilmember Schumacher to serve as the primary member of the board of directors and Mayor Hall as alternate. The Del Mar City Council appointed Deputy Mayor Ellie Haviland as primary and Councilmember Dwight Worden as alternate.
The Clean Energy Alliance will meet prior to the end of the year to complete the implementation plan, which includes hiring key vendors and staff, setting operational policies, establishing the energy supply mix, rates and programs.
The implementation plan needs to be submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission by Dec. 31, 2019.
The Clean Energy Alliance plans to provide power to its customers and launch the Community Choice Energy program in 2021.