Baldwin Park could go into the energy business, but the idea is not universally popular

Baldwin Park may change the way electricity is provided to its residents and businesses, which officials say could save the them money  — and critics say is unnecessary.

The City Council voted 3-2 at its meeting last week to commission $63,000 technical study on the viability of the city buying its own energy on the open market, a process known as community choice aggregation.

Energy would still be transmitted via Southern California Edison’s lines.

While energy prices always in flux, City Councilman Richard Pacheco said getting into the energy business would allow Baldwin Park to “catch up to other cities,” such as Glendale and Pasadena, which provide their own power. He also cited the Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy, the city’s community choice aggregation, as an example of a nearby city that has made the switch.

“I want more information, and I think it’s time to invest and find the pros and cons of doing it,” Pacheco said at the meeting.

Councilwoman Susan Rubio, who along with Councilwoman Cruz Baca, voted against the study, said she doesn’t believe the City Council had received enough information to justify spending $63,000 to study the matter further.

Rubio argued that more surrounding cities would be forming their own community choice aggregations if the benefit was guaranteed.

“There’s a risk, and in this case, it’s the taxpayers’ money we’re spending to find out if this is even worth pursuing,” Rubio said.

Resident Arturo Luna said the city is wasting its time and residents’ money because Edison is already sufficient.

“We want another electric company like need holes in our heads,” Luna said.

 

Baldwin Park could go into the energy business, but the idea is not universally popular, by Christopher Yee, The San Gabriel Times, March 12, 2018.

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