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Electric Switch
Don Mosier | Rimini Road

Del Mar has been working with other North Coastal cities to investigate the option of purchasing cleaner sources of energy using a state authorized program of Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), more commonly known as Community Choice Energy (CCE). This program would involve the county and several cities joining together to purchase electricity and then partnering with existing utilities (SDG&E in our region) for distribution and billing.

The city has begun efforts to understand the benefits and risks of joining a regional CCE. These efforts include staff level meetings with the cities of Encinitas, Solana Beach, Carlsbad, and Oceanside to discuss a possible feasibility study and attending a full day conference on CCEs on March 10th in Rancho Bernardo. This conference was sponsored by the Climate Action Campaign (full disclosure, I am now on their board) and was attended by Councilmember Ellen Haviland, city staff, SAB members, and me. The highlight of the meeting for me was a presentation by Rex Parris, Mayor of Lancaster, CA. Lancaster formed their own CCE several years ago, and it has been successful in reducing energy costs and providing new local jobs. The Mayor helped recruit a Chinese firm that makes batteries that store solar energy, leading to even higher efficiency and more local jobs. Lancaster has even adopted a policy that all new residential construction has to be net zero energy consumption----and this is in a city with a conservative Republican mayor and council. Mayor Parris said that cleaner energy and more local jobs is not a partisan issue, and that he supports a cleaner future for our kids and grandkids. Let’s remember that as Del Mar begins to discuss local Community Choice in energy procurement and rate setting.

Community Choice is one way to meet the goals of the City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) adopted last June. One of the goals is to achieve 100% clean energy sources by 2035. That seems a long time away, but we need to take action now to achieve that goal. In January of this year, I accepted the Council’s appointment as CAP Facilitator to help support the city staff and the Sustainability Advisory Board (SAB) implement important elements of our Plan. Fortunately my six years on the SANDAG Energy Working Group as the North Coastal representative was invaluable experience for dealing with both building energy consumption and regional transportation challenges.

 

 

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