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New Guiding Principles for Community Choice Energy put County on Stronger Path to Join with Cities to Reach Environmental Goals

04/06/21

Changing San Diego County’s guiding principles on Community Choice Energy (CCE) puts the County on a stronger path to join a local CCE. Chair Nathan Fletcher and Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer are bringing a policy to the Board on Tuesday, April 6 to change the guiding principles and authorize the Chief Administrative Officer to engage in negotiations with CCE providers. 

“We made significant progress over the last couple of years to put the County in a position to join a Community Choice Energy program,” said Chair Fletcher. “Revising our guiding principles will ensure any agreement aligns with our commitment for renewable energy, good paying jobs and environmental and social justice.”

The existing principles do not go far enough on the County’s renewable energy goals, focus primarily on limiting financial risk and lack career opportunities for workers.

“Joining a community choice energy program can help customers save money on their power bills while giving us a transformational tool to fight climate change,” said Supervisor Lawson-Remer. “This will put the County on the path to join with other cities to bring competition to an energy marketplace where there currently is none, creating a more level playing field that lowers the price of green energy.”

The Board will vote to change the CCE guiding principles to:

  1. Prioritize social equity and environmental stewardship. 
  2. Provide cost competitiveness compared to the incumbent utility.
  3. Achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2030; encourage within-County buildout of renewable energy, battery storage, and energy efficiency programs; and prioritize Category 1 renewable energy.
  4. Support requirements for prevailing wages, as defined in California Labor Code section 1770 et seq., and skilled and trained workforce, as defined in California Public Contract Code section 2601, for CCE-owned generation, feed-in-tariff, and energy efficiency projects.
  5. Encourage the development of an equitable jobs pipeline for individuals from communities of concern; the use of a bid evaluation policy prioritizing the selection of new local renewable energy and storage projects; and the workforce development criteria prioritizing the use of State-certified apprenticeship and proper assignment of work to crafts that traditionally perform the work, as permitted by applicable law.
  6. Limit General Fund Liability.

Today, 23 CCEs are operating throughout the state, serving more than 10 million customers. There are two CCEs operating in San Diego County, San Diego Community Power and Clean Energy Alliance.