October 3, 2016 – East County Magazine – Mike Allen reports: As the issue of climate change becomes more elevated, more cities are taking a harder look at their carbon footprints and mulling alternatives.
In California, at least two counties and a few smaller cities have already formed new entities that purchase a larger share of their energy from renewable sources and are doing it at cheaper rates than was previously provided by the investor-owned utility.
On Sept. 21, two La Mesa citizen groups, the city’s Planning Commission and its Environmental Sustainability Commission held a joint meeting to discuss the possibility of forming a Community Choice Aggregation program, or a CCA.
The two-hour session was not intended to take any vote on the issue, but simply to explore the idea and see whether the city should give it greater consideration, said Jim Newland, the Planning Commission chair who convened the meeting.
The majority of the evening was taken up listening to a presentation by Scott Anders, director of the Energy Policy Initiatives Center at the University of San Diego, about CCAs— how these are formed, how they’re working, the rates they’re charging customers, and other aspects surrounding such entities.
Kayla Race, another speaker and a director with the Climate Action Campaign, said CCAs are being considered by several North County cities including Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, Oceanside and Solana Beach. The latter small city recently commissioned a feasibility study to research the issue, one of the first steps in forming a new CCA, she said.
“This is an opportunity for consumers to have another choice on where they get their energy from, and how clean it is,” Race said after the meeting ended.