CEA discusses new members, citizens advisory committee

The newly formed Clean Energy Alliance discussed forming citizen committees to weigh in on the direction of the board.
The newly formed Clean Energy Alliance discussed forming citizen committees to weigh in on the direction of the board.
(Luke Harold)

The newly formed Clean Energy Alliance Board of Directors discussed forming a citizens advisory committees during its monthly meeting on Jan. 16.

“We do have a lot of interest in the Del Mar public to engage with this board,” said Del Mar Mayor Ellie Haviland, the board’s vice chair.

The board, chaired by Carlsbad City Councilwoman Cori Schumacher, will further explore the formation of a committee at a workshop later this spring.

Meeting for the first time at Del Mar City Hall after holding its first three meetings in Carlsbad, the board also began discussing its approach to add other member cities to the CEA, a new Community Choice Energy program that will begin serving customers in its three-member cities in 2021.

The CCE launched through a Joint Powers Agreement among the cities of Solana Beach, Del Mar and Carlsbad. The three-member board of directors is in the process of overseeing an implementation plan to begin serving customers next year.

Community Choice Energy programs allow local communities to band together 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 provides a higher percentage of clean and renewable energy at slightly lower rates, depending on the particular level of renewable energy customers select.

Customers can opt out of the CEA and continue receiving power from SDG&E, although SDG&E plans to discontinue energy procurement.

According to a report from CEA interim CEO Barbara Boswell, other cities or counties within SDG&E territory are eligible to join the CEA. Potential new members would have to complete a series of steps including a financial feasibility study and paying a share of the cost of launching the CEA before Oct. 1. Customers in any new member city or county would begin receiving service in 2022.

Solana Beach City Councilwoman Kristi Becker, a CEA board member, said the board should first focus on regulatory steps before forming a citizen’s advisory committee or enlisting new members.

“We need to lead by being successful,” said Becker, a Clean Energy Alliance board member.

The board will also apply to join the California Community Choice Association as an affiliate member, which would cost $1,500 in annual membership dues.

The next Clean Energy Alliance meeting will be held Feb. 20 at 2 p.m. in Solana Beach City Hall.