Chula Vista, La Mesa, and Santee have launched a joint Community Aggregation Feasibility Study request for proposals to explore if they should buy electricity from alternate sources besides San Diego Gas & Electric.
A Community Choice Aggregation allows an entity, any city or county, to take over the responsibility for purchasing power for their community.
“A feasibility study will be the first move to determine which program would work,” said Cory Downs, conservation specialist for the city of Chula Vista. “We were all looking to conduct similar studies and by working together we are able to lower the cost for all.”
It will not be a one-size-fits-all study.
“Each jurisdiction will be studied independently and there is no commitment to partner with the other jurisdictions after the feasibility study,” said Downs. “We have the initial timeline for a final report around September but will be looking to streamline the timeline where possible.”
Chula Vista city council member Jill Galvez voiced her motivation behind supporting the study.
“I want to ensure that if our local utility gets out of the power purchasing business – and that if responsibility of purchasing power then shifts to state or local governments – that residents of Chula Vista are fully informed and protected in all aspects that might affect service, cost, and quality,” said Galvez.
The estimated cost to the city of Chula Vista is $43,000, according to Galvez.
Other cities in San Diego county have already completed CCA feasibility studies or have voted to pursue a study.
“Solana Beach found it was feasible,” said Downs. Currently eight cities within the county have already conducted the feasibility study or are moving toward launching their own studies.
Additionally, the San Diego County board of supervisors held a meeting weighing in on community choice energy on Feb. 26 to explore buying energy from alternative energy sources. Supervisor’s Jacob and Fletcher’s news advisory went so far as to state — studies show that SDG&E ratepayers have been saddled with some of the highest utility rates in the nation.
Supervisor Greg Cox’s spokesperson, Luis Monteagudo, noted the board’s action following the Feb.26 meeting: “Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to develop options for a Community Choice Energy program and return to the Board by October 2019 with all options, with pros and cons, and a business plan, and report back to the Board on progress every two months.”
Chula Vista joins efforts to examine energy options, By Rebecca Williamson, The Star New, February 28, 2019.