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San Diego City Council Members Hear Results Of ‘Community Choice’ Study

Power lines at an SDG&E facility in North Park are seen here on Sept. 26, 2017.

Photo by Andrew Bowen

Above: Power lines at an SDG&E facility in North Park are seen here on Sept. 26, 2017.

San Diego's path to 100 percent renewable energy got a hearing at the City Council's Environment Committee. Committee members heard a presentation on the feasibility of community choice aggregation.

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."

RELATED: Sempra Services Video Leaves Out Key Facts On Community Choice

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."

RELATED: Taxpayer Group Seeks ‘Community Choice’ Data (Most Is Already Public)

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.


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Photo of Andrew Bowen

Andrew Bowen
Metro Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover local government — a broad beat that includes housing, homelessness and infrastructure. I'm especially interested in the intersections of land use, transportation and climate change.

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