SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica City Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 14 at the City Hall to discuss the details about a new plan to buy and sell electricity in Santa Monica.
With a vision to make Santa Monica Carbon Neutral by 2050, last year the city council decided to establish a local, not-for-profit, public agency to make decisions on sources of energy. The customers will have an option to choose between continuing with their existing utility company or opt to get their energy from the public agency.
“It presents an opportunity for us to significantly lower our greenhouse gas emissions related to electricity use by making much higher levels of renewable energy available to everyone in our community,” said Dean Kubani, Chief Sustainability Officer for Santa Monica, to Santa Monica Daily Press.
Similar community non-profits are being set up across California and are known as Community Choice Aggregation (CCA). Joe Galliani, Co-Chair of South Bay Clean Power, said to the Daily Press that these are the single most powerful tool to reduce greenhouse cases.
Another option available to the Council is to consider signing a contract with other cities called a Joint Powers Authority (JPA). JPA can help create the CCA to manage local energy.
In San Francisco, local energy is managed by CleanPowerSF. They offer customers two options for increasing their use of renewable energy, “Green” (35 percent clean energy) or SuperGreen (100 percent clean energy) for an extra 2 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Santa Monica has the option to establish a partnership with other cities in the Los Angeles County. This Countywide CCA could offer the lowest rates and could satisfy the interests of 82 cities making it the largest CCA in the state.
“I think cities have different values sets and Santa Monica is pretty clear with its goals,” King said to the Daily Press.
Santa Monica has the option of moving forward independently by partnering with an energy service to develop a city CCA or utilize services of a third-party vendor. The City would initially pay the up-front cost for development of a CCA and will mostly integrate a water utility, waste management and electricity services.
The Santa Monica task force recommended both the County and the South Bay CCAs to achieve the highest rate of renewable sources and also keeps the cost in mind. In the meeting, the Council will decide which of the available options is a better fit for the city.