June 1, 2018 – Solana Energy Alliance – The City of Solana Beach has exciting news to share! Beginning in June, Solana Energy Alliance (SEA), a service of the City of Solana Beach, will begin providing cheaper, greener energy to its residents and businesses. Though a program known as Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), the generation portion of your bill will be 3% less than the current San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) rates, come from 50% renewable, and 75% greenhouse gas-free sources, be locally controlled, provide choice in energy providers, and keep revenues local for the benefit of Solana Beach residents and businesses.
What do you have to do to enjoy these new benefits? Nothing, the legislation that established CCA in California set it up as a default program. This means that to receive cleaner energy at lower rates you don’t have to do anything. However, should you decide not to participate, you can choose to opt-out.
How do I know the energy is truly “greener”? SEA is held to the same rigorous procurement standards and reporting requirements of all utilities in California, including SDG&E. You will be receiving an annual mailer each June that reports not only the energy content of both SEA’s and SDG&E products, but also provides a side by side comparison of an average monthly bill.
How do I know my rates won’t go up? As a locally managed program, all SEA rate setting will be held at Solana Beach City Council meetings, at noticed public hearings. This means you can easily have your say in the rate setting process by coming to YOUR local city hall and speaking to YOUR elected officials. The City Council has set the initial energy generation rates at 3% lower than SDG&E’s. The attached rate comparison, which was prepared jointly with SDG&E shows a bill calculation based on average energy usage. You can see that SEA is lower than SDG&E, and our 100% renewable energy is lower than SDG&E’s default product! You may also have heard that SDG&E has requested an 11% increase in its rates, already the highest in California, from 2019 to 2022. It is estimated that this will generate up to $2.1 billion of additional revenue generated from San Diego customers, which will benefit the shareholders of SDG&E, not their rate payers. You now have another option in who provides your energy with funds derived from that energy staying in Solana Beach for local benefit!
I have solar on my rooftop, will there be any benefit to me staying with SEA? Yes! If your solar system generates more energy than you use over your 12-month relevant period, SEA will pay you more for the excess generation, at $.06 per kWh, it is almost double the rate that SDG&E pays. If you use more energy than your system generations, then you will enjoy the lower rates that SEA offers, with the benefit of knowing you are using cleaner energy. In addition, you will keep your grandfathered, NEM 1.0 and 2.0 status. With our lower rates, you can choose to lower your carbon footprint, and opt up with SEA’s 100% renewable energy, SEA Green, and still have a lower bill than you currently pay to SDG&E. To opt up to SEA Green you can go to our website, www.SolanaEnergyAlliance.org, or call customer service at 858-720-4422.
Will SEA offer a 100% renewable energy product? Yes, you can elect to opt up to SEA Green product, which comes from 100% renewable energy. Unlike SDG&E’s renewable product, which is generated exclusively from solar, is capped at 50MW and is only open to customers through 1/1/19, SEA’s 100% renewable energy is open to anyone, anytime, and is generated from a variety of renewable energy sources. In addition, should you decided that the 100% renewable product is not right for you, you can go back to SEA’s default product, SEA Choice (which is 50% renewable and 75% greenhouse gas free), at any time. SDG&E will charge you a termination fee should you decide to leave the program within the first 12 months. With SEA’s lower rates, you can choose to lower your carbon footprint, and opt up to SEA’s 100% renewable energy, SEA Green, and still have a lower bill than you currently pay to SDG&E. To opt up to SEA Green you can go to our website, www.SolanaEnergyAlliance.org, or call customer service at 858-720-4422.
How will energy I buy from SEA get to my home or business? SEA’s energy is delivered to your home and business through the existing SDG&E system. SDG&E continues to be responsible for the maintenance and operation of the electric infrastructure, remains your contact for outages, and continues to bill you for electricity (including SEA charges). SDG&E does not charge SEA customers more for these services. The delivery side of your bill remains the same, only the generation side is affected, with lower rates.
I’ve been told about “Exit Fees,” isn’t that a new charge that will result in a higher bill under SEA? SEA customers are charged a fee, known as an exit fee (or the PCIA charge). The purpose for this fee is to reimburse SDG&E for energy it has purchased on behalf of SEA customers that is no longer needed. In setting rates, we have accounted for this fee (which is already known), and then discounted our rate after the exit fees. Please note that customers of SDG&E’s 100% renewable option (EcoChoice) also pay this exit fee.
I participate in SDG&E Rush Hour Rewards, which pays me an incentive to allow them to adjust my thermostat. Will I lose this program by being a SEA customer? No, SEA customers can continue to participate in SDG&E’s Rush Hour Rewards program.
I’ve spoken to friends and neighbors and we still have questions. Can we have someone come to meet with us to answer our questions? Yes, we would be happy to speak with you individually, or come speak to your group. Please email info@SolanaEnergyAlliance.org and we can set up a time and place for a meeting to answer your questions.
I have already opted out, but now would like to stay with SEA, how can I cancel my opt-out request? For information on how to cancel your opt-out request, please call our customer service line at 858-720-4422, or email customer service at AskUs@SolanaEnergyAlliance.org
Please see below for rate comparisons of three different rate types:
Read the full press release here.