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Del Mar Switches on Green Power
Ann Gardner | Via Latina

Solar Panels in Del Mar.  Photos Art Olson.

It’s a great gift idea as we approach the holidays, according to Bruce Bekkar, chair of Del Mar’s Energy Issues Advisory Committee, commented at the November 16 City Council meeting. Bekkar was talking about the Committee’s recommendation the City enter into an agreement with Del Mar-based Nature & Culture International (NCI) allowing residents to buy endangered forestland in Ecuador, Peru and Mexico, perhaps acres equal to our city limits- about 1,344 acres.

If Del Mar signs the agreement, and based on the Council’s discussion it look like they will, we will be joining Solana Beach, the Del Mar Rotary Club and the San Diego Zoo in a unique partnership to preserve critical rainforest ecosystems that keep carbon emissions out of the atmosphere. ‘Just so we understand that participating in this program does not let us off the hook for reducing our carbon footprint right here in Del Mar,’ Councilman Earnest emphasized.

The six-member committee has no intention of letting that happen. They are working with staff from ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability and the San Diego Foundation to identify and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Del Mar as required by AB32, the Governor’s Global Warming Solution Act. They are preparing two Block Grant applications for Council’s approval to secure funding that will enable the City to retrofit its computer servers, reducing IT energy use by over 80 per cent, and to conduct an energy audit on all city facilities, expected to result in additional energy saving measures. At their last meeting they talked with the local CEO of the only green hybrid taxi service in the country who encouraged them to consider using the service in Del Mar as a unique environmental initiative.

Asked what individual citizens could do, Bekkar’s immediate answer was “Set up your roof to start making money for you-install solar panels.” He applauded Governor’s recent approval of AB 920 that, beginning January 2010, will require utilities to pay consumers for generating extra power. Prior to the Bill’s passage, excess power was donated to the utility. Now extra power will result in a check or credit to these accounts. And for those of us who have not yet installed solar panels, Committee members added, “this is all the more reason to do so.”

Want to know more? On December 7, the Committee will be presenting their Goals and Annual Report to the City Council. Or attend the next Committee meeting, 5:30 p.m. Friday December 18 at the City Hall Annex. Ideas and enthusiasm for Del Mar “becoming as green as it is beautiful” are welcome.

 

 
 

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