SDG&E has a monopoly on electric energy in San Diego. Its parent company, Sempra, is a natural gas utilities holding company that wants to deny our city’s families and small businesses choice and remain our only energy provider. Don’t believe the distorted messages they’re spreading about CCE.
The City should focus on transportation instead of energy for greenhouse gas reductions.
The City should focus on all avenues to reduce GHG emissions, and not one or the other. As determined in the City’s study, a future CCE program would include greenhouse gas reductions to meet Climate Action Plan targets and meet the 100 percent renewable energy goal by 2035.
The City won’t be able to offer lower rates than SDG&E.
SDG&E customers pay the highest rates in the state and among the highest in the nation. This was recently highlighted by a letter from Office of Ratepayer Advocates within the California Public Utilities Commission stating that SDG&E’s rates for residential customers have increased 24 percent between 2015 and 2017, triple the inflation rates.
In contrast, the City’s study found that the “CCE program rates for most of the study period [would] remain below those projected for SDG&E, indicating that from a ratepayers’ perspective the CCE program is beneficial.” (San Diego Feasibility Study, pages ES-20)
Rates will Increase for CCE Customers.
One of the primary goals for the program is to ensure rates are competitive with SDG&E’s. As stated in the City’s Feasibility Study, the CCE program would enable families to enjoy lower rates.
“Under the various scenarios examined, by and large the CCE program rates for most of the Study period remain below those projected for SDG&E; indicating that from a ratepayer’s perspective the CCE program in beneficial.” — San Diego Feasibility Study, page ES-20.
To date, the operational CCEs in California have succeeded in saving ratepayers millions of dollars while significantly increasing the levels of renewable and carbon free power that their customers consume.
CCE cannot meet a 100 percent renewable energy goal because it cannot build new renewable generation facilities.
The feasibility study has determined that a CCE program would enable the city to reach its 100 percent renewable energy goal by 2035. In addition, contrary to the notion that CCEs cannot enter into new long-term renewable generation projects, California’s existing programs show that the opposite is true:
- Peninsula Clean Energy, which launched in 2016, announced in September of 2017 that it has entered into a 15-year contract for 100 MW of new solar power.
- More broadly, CCE programs have already invested nearly $2 billion in new renewable projects in California.
- Solar energy is now the lowest cost option in many locations, and is more inexpensive to construct and generate than fossil fuel or natural gas facilities.
CCE won’t actually create clean energy jobs.
CCE is working well for communities throughout California. For example, as of January 2017, Marin’s CCE, MCE, helped create 24 new California renewable energy projects supporting more than 2,800 in-state jobs and 1.2 million project labor hours. San Diego’s CCE will keep money that would otherwise line the pockets of utility shareholders, with the option to reinvest it in the community to build similar renewable projects.
CCEs are new to California.
Community Choice Energy is a tried and true model for allowing choice in the electricity market. CCE is made possible by AB 117 (Migden, 2002) as it allows local governments to purchase energy for their families and businesses.
Since 2002, CCE has been widely adopted in California:
- There are 14 operational CCE programs in California, which are estimated to serve approximately 135 cities and 17 counties by Summer 2018 with several more on the way. The oldest, MCE (Marin Clean Energy), has been in operation since 2010.
- All of California’s CCE programs currently offer a lower base electricity price than the competing IOU, and with a higher clean energy content.
Staying with the status quo — the for-profit monopoly — is a good solution.
The risks and costs of NOT enacting a CCE program include:
- Higher electricity rates from SDG&E — the utility that charges the highest rates in CA;
- Not achieving 100 percent clean energy — San Diego has no control over SDG&E;
- Not achieving GHG reduction goals as set out by the City’s Climate Action Plan;
- Less local economic development;
- Fewer local jobs; and
- Less local solar.
All we have to do is look at the 100 percent success rate of CCEs across the state to see that the benefits of a CCE outweigh any perceived risks.
In addition, the risks of not aggressively addressing climate change are becoming more obvious daily, as extreme weather events and faster-than-predicted sea level rise are making news regularly. Community Choice Energy is the fastest, most cost-effective mechanism available for accelerating clean energy and achieving real GHG reductions.
San Diego’s CCE will be the largest in California.
At the time of publication, the city’s Feasibility Study stated that San Diego’s CCE would be larger than all others in existence with approximately 475,000 customer accounts. Since then, Sonoma Clean Power has grown to approximately 600,000 and MCE is expected to grow to 550,000 by Spring, 2018. This allows City of San Diego officials to study and implement the best practices of similarly sized CCE programs prior to beginning service within city boundaries.