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Too Soon To Say Whether Community Choice Aggregation Will Come To San Diego

Photo by Tarryn Mento

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer shakes the hand of Council President Todd Gloria at a press conference unveiling the mayor's climate action plan, Sept. 30, 2014

In his Climate Action Plan, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer committed the city to getting 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2035.

Leaders of a newly formed nonprofit called Climate Action Campaign are arguing the best way to reach that goal is through something called community choice aggregation.


City of San Diego Climate Action Plan

City of San Diego Climate Action Plan

City of San Diego Climate Action Plan

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Community choice aggregation, or CCA, means the city could buy energy for its residents instead of going through the utility SDG&E. That would give the city more control over where its energy comes from.

Nicole Capretz, the head of the Climate Action Campaign, said that would allow the city to shift to more renewable sources.

"When looking at what is available when you're existing under the rubric of a monopoly, the best option to get the efficiencies and the rate reductions and to accelerate clean energy is this program, community choice," she said. "It was designed by the state specifically so that cities and counties and other government agencies could provide an alternative to the existing models, which aren't getting us to the goals we need to avert the climate crisis."

Capretz, a former city staffer who wrote the Climate Action Plan released by Interim Mayor Todd Gloria, plans to use her group as a watchdog during the City Council's approval process for Faulconer's climate plan.

During a KPBS Midday Edition interview Wednesday, Faulconer reaffirmed his 100 percent renewable goal, but was non-committal about whether the city should use community choice aggregation to get there.

"We're going to look at all options, because that goal is an important one for us to hit and one that I'm committed to," he said. "I think we should rightfully be a nationwide leader when it comes to using clean energy."

Faulconer said he'd also use solar power to help him reach the goal.

"I think as we look at all of those opportunities, it's important, it's going to be a menu," he said.

A study funded by the nonprofit Protect Our Communities Foundation will look at how the costs of community choice aggregation compare to SDG&E. Its results are expected in March.

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