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CEA prepares for budget increases with addition of new cities

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 is expecting a surge in revenue and expenditures in next year’s budget due largely to the addition of two new cities, based on a proposed budget presented during a May 26 board of directors meeting.

The CEA, a new Community Choice Aggregation program, launched with the cities of Del Mar, Solana Beach and Carlsbad. San Marcos and Escondido have since joined the agency to provide power for residential and business customers.

The agency’s board of directors will vote on the 2022-23 fiscal year budget on June 30.

“While we don’t have new and exciting programs yet in the budget, we are very excited about the expansion and the efforts we will be taking over the next year with regard to that launch and minimizing opt-outs,” said Barbara Boswell, the CEO of the Clean Energy Alliance.

The agency is projecting $80.8 million in projected revenue and $78.4 million in expenditures, which leaves a reserve fund equal to 4% of revenue. CEA policy is to maintain at least a 5% reserve.

“We’re going to continue to refine our numbers and work on bringing our expenditures down to a point where we are within our reserve requirements,” Boswell said.

The top expenditures that will increase as a result of the expansion of the CEA’s service area include power supply, which will rise from about $57.1 million last fiscal year to $74.13 million in the upcoming one, and the costs of staff and consultants, which will rise from about $200,000 to almost $1 million.

The total projected revenue from the 2021-22 fiscal year is approximately $63.3 million and the projected expenditures are $59.8 million.

“We continue our conservative approach with regards to our administrative and overhead costs, and are really still focused on building reserves and ensuring financial stability,” Boswell said.


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