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Environment Committee To Hear Discussion Of Community Choice Energy Proposal

A sign on SDG&E's headquarters appears in this undated photo.
Nicholas McVicker
A sign on SDG&E's headquarters appears in this undated photo.

The San Diego City Council's Environment Committee will hold a discussion on a community choice energy provider Thursday, which would compete with private-sector energy companies such as San Diego Gas and Electric.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced the proposal in October to a chorus of approval from local environmental activists and re-iterated his commitment to the idea during his State of the City address Jan. 15. The proposal would create a public-sector energy provider to increase market competition and, consequently, reduce energy costs.

According to Faulconer's office, the plan would reduce local energy costs by at least 5 percent and help the city attain its goal of 100 percent renewable energy usage by 2035. Faulconer plans to request that the City Council create a joint-powers authority to facilitate the project, which would include the county of San Diego and other cities around the region should they choose to join. On the city's current timeline, the energy providing authority would begin service in 2021.

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"Community choice energy will inject healthy competition into the marketplace, allowing customers to benefit from lower energy costs and pick greener energy sources to power their home or business," Faulconer said during his State of the City address. "People said this couldn't be done in San Diego, but when we say 'yes,' we open the doors to what is possible."

The Environment Committee will take the first step toward making the proposal a reality Thursday, when it meets at 1 p.m. in the 12th floor Committee Room in the City Administration Building at 202 C St.