Clean Energy Alliance holds its first meeting

Solana Beach City Councilwoman Kristi Becker was one of three Clean Energy Alliance Board members and one alternate who were sworn in Nov. 5.
(Luke Harold)

Carlsbad City Councilwoman Cori Schumacher was elected board chair of the Clean Energy Alliance, a new Community Choice Energy program launched through a partnership by the cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar and Solana Beach.

The CEA’s three-member board of directors met for the first time at Carlsbad City Hall Nov. 5, where they were sworn in and initiated plans to start delivering energy to North County customers in 2021. Del Mar Deputy Mayor Ellie Haviland, who was elected vice chair, and Solana Beach City Councilwoman Kristi Becker are also on the board. All three were appointed to the board by their respective city councils.

“It’s great to see so many people interested in this momentous day,” said Haviland, addressing city staff members and local residents in attendance.

Becker added that it was “an exciting day.”

Solana Beach City Councilwoman Judy Hagenauer, selected by the Solana Beach City Council as an alternate to the board, was also sworn in.

Community Choice Energy programs allow local communities to provide residents and businesses with an alternative to their traditional utility, such as San Diego Gas & Electric. SDG&E would still deliver the energy to local customers in a CCE program, which typically provide renewable energy at 50%, 75% and 100% tiers. The 50% renewable energy option usually gives customers a slight decrease compared to the base product available from their traditional energy provider. The 100% option typically costs more than the traditional base product. Residents can choose whether to get their energy from a local CCE or remain with their existing provider, although SDG&E is planning for a future in which it no longer procures energy.

State law began allowing Community Choice Energy programs in 2002, and many cities have embraced them as a way to help meet their climate goals. Before the Clean Energy Alliance, Solana Beach launched the first CCE in San Diego County two years ago to serve the city’s residents and businesses.

In the months leading up to the CEA’s first meeting, representatives from Del Mar, Solana Beach and Carlsbad had also been in discussions with their counterparts in the city of Santee and San Diego County to form a five-member Joint Powers Agreement to launch the Clean Energy Alliance. Both decided to postpone their decisions on whether to join.

Another CCE spearheaded by the city of San Diego, which includes Encinitas, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach and La Mesa, held its first meeting last month.

The CEA board’s next meeting will be Nov. 19 at 10 a.m. at Carlsbad City Hall, before switching its meeting schedule to the third Thursday of each month at 2 p.m. The board’s December meeting will also be in Carlsbad, but meeting locations will eventually rotate among the three member cities.