County to consider joining CEA, San Diego Community Power

The CEA is a Community Choice Energy program launched by the cities of Del Mar, Solana Beach and Carlsbad.
The CEA is a Community Choice Energy program launched by the cities of Del Mar, Solana Beach and Carlsbad.
(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times


The Clean Energy Alliance will be one of the options that San Diego County considers for joining a Community Choice Energy program.

CEA board members discussed the possible addition of the county during their April 22 meeting.

Barbara Boswell, the agency’s CEO, said the county is evaluating, among other criteria, “how do our policies and procedures we have in place align with their guiding principles?”

The CEA, which will begin serving resident and business customers next month, currently consists of Del Mar, Solana Beach and Carlsbad. Adding additional cities or other government agencies has been one of the board’s goals.

Boswell said that the CEA is expecting a decision from the county no later than Aug. 1, followed by the county adopting a resolution to join the CEA and a CEA board vote to add the county in October. The county’s unincorporated areas would then begin receiving service from the CEA in 2023 at the earliest.

The county also has the option of joining San Diego Community Power, which formed about a year and a half ago around the same time as the CEA. It includes the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, Encinitas, La Mesa and Imperial Beach.

Community Choice Energy programs allow local governments to form their own utility to give residents and businesses an alternative to their traditional provider, such as San Diego Gas & Electric. SDG&E will still deliver the energy to local customers in a CCE program, which typically provides a higher percentage of clean and renewable energy. State law began allowing Community Choice Energy programs about 20 years ago. Solana Beach’s Solana Energy Alliance was the first one to form in San Diego County before the city decided to merge it with the CEA.

Dwight Worden, an alternate CEA board member representing Del Mar, said during the meeting that the current base of customers will require a sufficient load, referring to the amount of power that will need to be generated.

“It would be nice to have some more, I think it would benefit our rates in a variety of ways,” Worden said.