CEA to consider joining California Community Power for improved energy procurement
The newly formed Clean Energy Alliance will consider joining California Community Power Joint Powers Authority to improve its buying power in the energy procurement process, among other goals.
The CEA, a Community Choice Energy program launched by the cities of Del Mar, Solana Beach and Carlsbad, has been looking for other cities to join the agency to improve its leverage in energy procurement. Becoming a member of California Community Power could provide another step toward that goal.
Eight Community Choice Energy programs have joined California Community Power, including several in the Bay Area. It serves more than 2 million customers in over 140 local governments, according to its website.
“Economies of scale really matter,” said Girish Balachandran, a California Community Power board member and CEO of Silicon Valley Clean Energy, one of its member agencies.
The cost for each member agency would likely be in the range of $10,000 to $15,000 per year, he said.
Solana Beach City Councilwoman Kristi Becker, who chairs the CEA board, said the idea is worth “gathering some more facts.”
“I think it’s worth us investigating,” she said.
All three board members agreed, but wanted to wait until after the CEA begins serving residences and businesses later this spring. Member cities have been selecting the rates they will charge and reaching out to customers about the options that will be available.
“Once we’ve gotten off the ground, it would make more sense to think about membership at that point,” said Carlsbad City Councilwoman Priya Bhat-Patel, the CEA board’s vice chair.
Other potential benefits of joining California Community Power, according to a CEA staff report, include larger renewable and storage products.
“I think that’s going to be one of the major components we should be looking at,” said Del Mar City Councilman Dave Druker, who represents the city on the CEA board.
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