SANTA MONICA—On Tuesday, December 5, the Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously to join Los Angeles Community Choice Energy (LACCE). According to a press release from the city of Santa Monica, the move shifts all Santa Monica electricity customers to competitive electricity, sourced from up to 100 percent renewable sources compared to Southern California Edison, which offers less than 30 percent renewable.

“Santa Monica is seizing every opportunity to better protect the environment,” said Mayor Pro Tem Gleam Davis. “Joining an effort that promotes renewable energy and makes it available to our residents and businesses keeps us on track to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and promotes regional progress towards greater sustainability.”

The new agency takes advantage of a strategy known as CCA or community choice aggregation, which enables local governments to aggregate electric demand and procure and sell electricity directly to residential and commercial customers. CCA allows local governments to reduce carbon emissions associated with electricity generation and assist economic development through local energy projects and programs.

Santa Monica’s history and experience in sustainable energy will be vital to working with cities such as West Hollywood, Culver City and Agoura Hills to determine renewable energy goals, utility rates and local energy programs. CCA is not new in California, but has yet to take off in the southland. The city of Lancaster is the only other Southern California CCA that is currently operating.

City Council appointed Councilmember Kevin McKeown as the primary LACCE board member, with Councilmember Pam O’Connor as an alternate. David Pettit of the National Resources Defense Council and the Task Force on the Environment was appointed as the second alternate. Under LACCE, Santa Monica electricity customers receive the same service and utility bills from the existing utility, Southern California Edison, with the LACCE (CCA) electricity product included.