You Will Likely be Auto-Enrolled in the New Community Power Program

NBC 7 Responds looked at the new Community Power program offering more renewable energy

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The source of your power might be about to get a little greener. San Diego's new community power program is rolling out, promising more renewable energy.

"San Diego Community Power is our region's newest renewable energy provider," said Cody Hooven, the COO of SDCP.

In March, people in La Mesa were enrolled in the new program unless they decided to opt-out. Now letters are starting to go out to residents in other cities as well, including Chula Vista, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, and San Diego.

"We've actually been serving commercial and industrial customers in our region since last summer," said Hooven. "We're right in the middle of enrolling all of our residential customers now."

But how does the program work? There are two main parts of your power bill, the electric generation, and the transmission. SDCP is a new option for the first half and focuses on buying energy from renewable energy sources.

SDCP offers two plans focused on renewable energy sources. PowerOn comes from more than 50% renewable, while Power100 is made up entirely of renewable sources including solar and wind.

SDGE also has options for its customers. Its 2020 Power Content Label showed its plan was made up of more than 30% renewable energy, and its EcoChoice plan is 100% renewable.

Customers of SDCP will still get a bill from SDG&E, because the utility is still responsible for transmission, getting that energy into your home.

"We commit to always being cost-competitive with SDG&E while offering much cleaner power," said Hooven. "We're offering a 50% electricity product for about 1% less than what SDG&E offers."

This all began back in 2019 when five cities agreed to form a Community Choice Aggregation program. The County of San Diego and National City were quick to join as well.

This isn't the first program like this in California. In fact, Hooven says San Diego is the last major region to roll out this community power program. Because it is a CCA, people will be automatically enrolled in it unless they opt-out of the program.

"They're defaulted into our PowerOn product which is 50% renewable," said Hooven. "The city of Encinitas is the exception. They defaulted their customers into Power100, the 100% renewable option."

In a statement to NBC 7, SDGE said:

“SDG&E is working collaboratively with San Diego Community Power (SDCP) to transition residential customers in five local cities to SDCP – a community choice aggregation (CCA) program formed by the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, Encinitas, Imperial Beach and La Mesa to procure electricity to serve residents within their boundaries. While SDG&E will no longer be responsible for buying electricity to serve SDCP customers, we will continue to operate and build the infrastructure needed to deliver clean, safe and reliable electricity to them, as well as provide billing, meter reading and other customer services. We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure a seamless transition."

If you have questions about the program, you can get answers on SDG&E's website here, or on SDCP's website here. You can also use SDCP's bill comparison tool to get an estimate on your energy bills.

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