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Posted on: March 16, 2021

Council approves clean energy package

rooftop solar at Del Mar Civic Center

As Del Mar prepares to launch its community choice energy program in May, the City Council on March 15 approved a default package that will provide customers with electricity derived at least halfway from renewable sources and 75 percent from sources that are carbon-free.

At these levels, residential and small commercial accounts are expected to see a 0.9 percent reduction in their monthly energy bills.

In partnership with the cities of Carlsbad and Solana Beach, Del Mar belongs to the Clean Energy Alliance, or CEA. Formed in 2019, the joint powers authority is dedicated to purchasing cleaner power at competitive rates for consumers in the three cities.

The CEA is set to become the City of Del Mar’s default electricity provider in May. While the alliance will manage power purchasing, San Diego Gas & Electric will continue to handle customer billing and delivery of the electricity through its transmission system.

The Clean Energy Alliance is designed to provide easy access to cleaner energy, competitive rates and local control.

Under the community choice energy model, the alliance will purchase the power first and build in prescribed levels of renewable energy sources for customers.

CEA customers can choose to purchase more or less of their power form renewable sources. Options include:

  • Opting down to 50 percent renewable energy sources;
  • Opting up to 100 percent renewable energy sources at an additional cost— about $2.30 a month for residential customers and $7.90 a month for small commercial customers; or
  • Opting out of the Clean Energy Alliance altogether and returning to SDG&E for electricity from fewer renewable energy sources. In 2019, SDG&E’s default was 39 percent from renewable sources.

While participating in the Clean Energy Alliance is voluntary, customers must opt out by July 1 or face processing fees.

Customers with rooftop solar or other self-generation systems will qualify for increased compensation under the CEA's net energy metering program.

Under state law, Del Mar residents and businesses will be automatically enrolled into the Clean Energy Alliance. This week, the CEA is scheduled to send mailers informing ratepayers of the change with details about participation options.

The Clean Energy Alliance formed as a joint powers authority in the fall of 2019. The quasi-governmental agency is locally controlled and supported by ratepayers, with no taxpayer subsidies. By law, the Clean Energy Alliance is a separate legal entity from its member city governments. Its budget is separate from that of its member cities. The alliance is funded by program revenues and reserves, which can be redirected to the community for energy-related programs.

The Clean Energy Alliance will play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and meeting the Climate Action Plan goals of its member cities.

The City of Del Mar has identified implementing community choice energy as its single most-important strategy to achieve greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Open staff report

Open CEA pre-launch notice

Open Del Mar’s Climate Action Plan

Open the Clean Energy Alliance website

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