Community energy programs are accountable in ways investor-owned utilities are not

California has become a world leader on climate change, and local communities are joining in the call to create a carbon-free environment. One of the tools communities have to achieve our ambitious climate goals is creating locally run, greener electricity providers to offer an alternative to large investor-owned utilities. Communities across the state are jumping at the opportunity, known as community choice aggregation, to design and provide clean energy programs that meet the unique needs of their region.

Solana Beach has recently joined this localized movement, building on the achievements of the many cities and counties in the state that have launched CCA programs in their communities over the last decade. This localized energy competition is new to Solana Beach, and, as a result, there has been some confusion and misinformation spread by those who might be afraid of change.

Solana Energy Alliance was created by the community, for the community. SEA, which began serving customers on June 1, procures both clean and renewable electricity on behalf of its customers. SEA’s primary product, SEA Choice, comes from 50 percent renewable and 75 percent greenhouse gas-free sources. By contrast, San Diego Gas & Electric’s energy supply is 43 percent renewable.

CCA is a key measure in Solana Beach’s Climate Action Plan, delivering nearly half of the targeted electricity-related greenhouse gas emissions reductions. And for the first time, customers in the community now have a choice in who provides their power. They can stick with the new locally focused electricity provider or return to SDG&E. To have this option is significant and should not be understated.

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