San Diego City Council Members Hear Results Of 'Community Choice' Study
San Diego's path to 100 percent renewable energy got a hearing at the City Council's Environment Committee on Friday, with committee members hearing a presentation on community choice aggregation.
San Diego is considering community choice, sometimes referred to as CCA or CCE, as a way to get to 100 percent renewable energy. The program allows local governments, instead of private utilities, to choose how much energy comes from renewable sources.
The city commissioned a peer-reviewed feasibility study, which found the city could offer cheaper and greener electricity than SDG&E.
Councilman Chris Ward said he likes where things are going.
"When you get out of it and you just look at it at the macro level, competition should be a good thing," he said. "This is a business decision, if you will, and it almost works to our advantage to try and help us compete and help us get to better outcomes for the ratepayers, for San Diegans."
Representatives of Sempra Services, a marketing and lobbying organization funded by shareholders of SDG&E's parent company, told committee members to slow down with community choice. They have cast doubt on the study's findings, and questioned whether the city can handle the operations of the program.
Councilman Scott Sherman said he was eager for more information.
"I would love to see a way that there could be some competition there, because I think we all win at the end of the day," he said. "But I do have some concerns."
The Environment Committee is scheduled to make a recommendation on whether to move forward with community choice in December. The full City Council is scheduled to make a final decision in January.
If the council decides to move forward, city staffers will proceed with developing a business plan. The feasibility study expected a community choice program could be operational around 2020 or 2021.