Don Mosier | Rimini Road
On June 1st, Solana Beach officially launched Solana Energy Alliance (SEA), the first Community Choice Energy (CCE) Program in San Diego County. SEA is now the default electrical energy supplier for Solana Beach residents, although energy transmission and billing of customers continues to be provided by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). SEA offers three options for energy sources to their customers: SEA Choice (the default option) with a lower cost than SDG&E and 50% renewable and 75% greenhouse gas-free energy content; SEA Green, with 100% renewable energy content and a comparable price to SDG&E; and SEA NEM, for customers with solar panels who will receive higher credits for net energy metering (energy put back on the grid) than provided by SDG&E. The average monthly bill for a Solana Beach resident choosing SEA Choice is $120.09 compared to the average SDG&E bill of $123.45. Rates are set by the Solana Beach City Council, and energy is procured through contracts with two consultant firms, The Energy Authority and Calpine Energy Solutions. These two firms provide energy procurement services to many of the existing CCEs in California.
Although SEA is now the default energy supplier for Solana Beach residents, customers were given four opportunities to opt out and stay with SDG&E. The typical opt-out rate for existing CCEs has been about 5%, but opt-out rates for Solana Beach are not yet available since the 60 day period since launch has not yet occurred. The four biggest benefits of SEA for Solana Beach residents are cleaner energy, competitive rates, more choices, and local control.
Del Mar is currently participating in a feasibility study for CCE implementation in cooperation with the cities of Encinitas, Carlsbad, and Oceanside. Results of this study will be available in the next few months. Solana Beach deserves a lot of credit for their intensive study of the CCE option over the last seven years, and being the first to launch in the SDG&E service territory, joining over 100 cities and 11 counties in providing their residents choices in energy procurement.
SEA has its own website if you would like more information: https://solanaenergyalliance.org