Encinitas Flips The Switch on 100% Renewable Energy

Residents can choose to opt-out of the program and have their power generated by SDG&E instead

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Encinitas is the latest city to roll out a new electricity provider, joining Imperial Beach and La Mesa, which began service in February and March, respectively.

The San Diego Community Power (SDCP) program says it purchases renewable power and feeds it into the electricity grid. It then works with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to "deliver it to you at competitive rates."

As part of the program, customers could potentially see their monthly bills decrease and reduce their carbon footprint. While SDCP focuses on generating power from wind and solar, SDG&E remains involved in the billing process, transmission and distribution of electricity.

"When you get a bill from San Diego Gas & Electric, it’ll have a little line on it that says you’re getting your power from San Diego Community Power,” Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina explained when the program launched in his city. “Right off the bat, the prices are the same or a little bit more competitive than San Diego Gas & Electric.”

Both Imperial Beach and La Mesa opted for SDCP’s “Power On” tier, which offers 50% renewable energy. Encinitas chose to enroll in the “Power 100” tier, which offers 100% renewable energy.

“We had within our climate action plan a strategy of getting to 100% renewable energy 10 years ahead of the State of California,” said Encinitas City Council Member Joe Mosca, who also chairs the SDCP Board of Directors. “With this strategy of community choice energy, we’re actually able to offer residents a 100% renewable clean energy right away, if they so choose.”

Since SDCP is a community choice aggregation (CCA) program, state rules dictate that all-electric customers under a municipality that joins a CCA must automatically be enrolled in the program. Those who prefer to have their power generated by SDG&E instead can notify the SDCP to opt-out of the program.

La Mesa is joining Imperial Beach in taking part in a community energy program for its electricity. NBC 7's Audra Stafford has details on how it works.

SDG&E said it is on board with the initiative and doing its part to support the program.

“We are committed to continuing to work collaboratively with local community choice aggregation programs to support their successful launch and ensure that our mutual customers receive excellent customer service,” the utility company said in a statement.

Chula Vista and San Diego will join SDCP next month. National City and unincorporated areas of the county are set to launch the program next year.

For more information on SDCP, click here.

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